Senate Appropriations Committee signs off on fatherhood bill

Dad with son playing American football
Children with father figures are twice as likely to attend college and hold a job, proponents note.

The Senate Appropriations Committee advanced a sweeping bill Monday that aims to address the “fatherhood crisis” in Florida.

A priority of House Speaker Chris Sprowls, the bill would invest $70 million to promote “responsible” fatherhood, protect at-risk boys and support foster children statewide.

The committee advanced the bill (HB 7065) unanimously with only one question and no debate. It now awaits full Senate consideration. Fernandina Beach Republican Sen. Aaron Bean is the companion sponsor.

“It goes all in on fatherhood,” Bean told members of the proposal.

Among other provisions, the bill would create a “Responsible Fatherhood” website, which would provide fathers with various information and resources. The measure would also designate June as “Responsible Fatherhood Month” and increase the stipend a a student would receive as they transition out of foster care. Bean said the stipend would increase to $1,720 a month from $1,256.

According to research shared by House staff, children raised in fatherless homes are twice as likely to drop out of school, while fatherless boys are three times more likely to go to jail.

Alternatively, the House boasted data saying children with father figures are twice as likely to attend college and hold a job. They’re also 80% less likely to spend time in jail.

The bill tasks the Department of Children and Families with awarding grants to fatherhood programs and nonprofits serving at-risk boys.

“(We) know the importance of fatherhood, know that when a child has a father in their life, they have every opportunity to thrive, and they do better than those that don’t have that same opportunity,” Bean added.

Foster parents would also see a boost under the bill. They’d score a $200 monthly stipend increase, which is intended for early learning and child care uses.

The bill further would require the Department of Juvenile Justice to coordinate with DCF and collect data on children involved with both departments.

If signed into law, the bill would take effect July 1. It now awaits the Senate’s full consideration. 

Jason Delgado

Jason Delgado covers news out of the Florida State Capitol. After a go with the U.S. Army, the Orlando-native attended the University of Central Florida and earned a degree in American Policy and National Security. His past bylines include WMFE-NPR and POLITICO Florida. He'd love to hear from you. You can reach Jason by email ([email protected]) or on Twitter at @byJasonDelgado.

One comment

  • Monsignor

    February 21, 2022 at 8:03 pm

    Not one father will stay with his family because of this legislation. None will be more responsible because of it. Not one biological father will decide to care for his child rather than just abandon it to its mother because of the misguided action of our elected legislators, most of whom had fathers at home.

Comments are closed.


Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Cole Pepper, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Drew Wilson, and Mike Wright.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704

Sign up for Sunburn