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House To Take Up Bill On Domestic Violence Agency

Florida House of Representatives
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

Amid probes into spending by the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence, the House is poised Wednesday to take up a bill that would give flexibility to the Department of Children and Families to contract for services to help victims of domestic violence. 

The bill (HB 1087), sponsored by Rep. Juan Alfonso Fernandez-Barquin, R-Miami, would eliminate a legal requirement that the Department of Children and Families contract with the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence to manage domestic-violence programs.

The House is scheduled to take up the bill during a floor session Wednesday afternoon. A Senate version (SB 1482) also has cleared two committees.

The coalition has drawn heavy scrutiny, in part because of millions of dollars in compensation paid to the agency’s longtime executive director, Tiffany Carr.

Gov. Ron DeSantis last week asked his inspector general, Melinda Miguel, to investigate the agency’s “exorbitant compensation payouts” and “abuse of state dollars” to determine if any criminal wrongdoing has occurred. The House also voted to subpoena 14 people who have worked at the agency.