Florida Legislature’s leaders leave plenty of work for their successors

Amid rising homelessness attributed to a lack of affordable housing, they required counties to remove homeless people sleeping in public spaces, such as sidewalks and parks.

Homeless people instead could go to county-created camps where they could receive services.

But with only a $10 million boost in funding, the legislation doesn’t provide for resources to create those camps and provide those services, Democratic lawmakers said. Removing people, instead of treating them, seemed to be the bill’s intent, they said.

Lawmakers this session also devoted $100 million toward repairing the state’s crumbling and overcrowded prison system, but it’s still likely not enough. A state-sponsored report estimates between $6 billion and $12 billion needs to be spent over the next 20 years.

“There is no comprehensive vision, and only a handful of legislative leaders have stepped up to point this problem out,” said former Republican Sen. Jeff Brandes, who founded the Florida Policy Project to come up with best practices for the Legislature.

Read the full Tampa Bay Times article here.

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