Budget conference: Funding found for Boselli Foundation, but Weaver cash up in air
Artist Casto Solano’s concept rendering of public art for the Jaguars’ team facility.

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Legislators have good news for Tony Boselli and Delores Barr Weaver initiatives.

Updated Tuesday night as the Senate countered the House offer on one project, meaning it isn’t yet resolved.

A legislative conference committee is working out funding for two projects that could help public safety in Jacksonville, each of which has ties to figures significant in the history of the NFL’s Jaguars.

In a conference between the House Justice Appropriations Subcommittee and Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Criminal and Civil Justice, legislators found common ground Monday on The Boselli Foundation’s Mentorship Program, while the Delores Barr Weaver Policy Center’s Girl Matters Continuity of Care project is still being negotiated as of Tuesday.

In both cases, the House offer matches the Senate position. And in both cases, the goal is to help young people who are at risk of criminal recidivism.

The Boselli project is fully funded at $308,800, fulfilling the ask of Republican Sen. Clay Yarborough.

The Jacksonville Republican’s request notes that former Jaguars’ offensive tackle Tony Boselli’s program “enables mentors to utilize story work, skill building, and peer to peer interactions in a safe environment.”

“This would include salaries for additional mentors, a program administrator and supplies to support young men who are currently or recently incarcerated to become functional leaders through empowerment and mentorship in the Jacksonville community,” the request adds.

Though the funding is nonrecurring, Yarborough expects that asks for $300,000 are to be expected in subsequent years, to help anywhere from 25 to 50 “young men of 13 to 22 years old who are currently or formerly incarcerated” and are at-risk for recidivism.

Karis Beach Lockhart of the Southern Group is the lobbyist of record on this project.

Sen. Jennifer Bradley, meanwhile, is carrying the Weaver project, and she got $400,000 for it in a House offer, which is 80% of her half a million dollar ask to “sustain the nationally recognized Girls Matters: Continuity of Care (CCM) community-based program which stops the revolving door of girls cycling in and out of the justice system due to unaddressed mental health needs.”

However, the Senate countered with a $500,000 ask Tuesday.

“Since the program’s inception, girls’ incarceration has reduced by 72% in Duval County (First Coast 65%) compared to 58% statewide, saving the State $10.3M and growing,” the request notes, adding that “63 girls will receive intensive therapeutic services and an additional 72 girls will be served through groups at the detention center or in teen court” through this funding.

For the uninitiated, Delores Barr Weaver is the wife of former Jags’ owner Wayne Weaver.

Robyn Metcalf Blank of The Griffin Group is the lobbyist of record here.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


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