Florida lawmakers propose vouchers for swim lessons for kids 4 or younger
The bills would direct the Florida Department of Health to develop a program that would contract with vendors to “increase water safety in this state."
Senate and House Republicans on Monday proposed bills that would create a voucher program for young children to receive swimming lessons.
Sen. Travis Hutson, R-St. Augustine, and Rep. Demi Busatta Cabrera, R-Coral Gables, filed the bills (SB 544 and HB 581) for consideration during the 2024 legislative session, which will start Jan. 9.
The bills would direct the Florida Department of Health to develop a program that would contract with vendors to provide swimming lessons to children ages 4 or younger.
The program would be available to families whose incomes are up to 200 percent of the federal poverty level, which, for example, is $60,000 for a family of four this year.
The bills say the purpose is to “increase water safety in this state by offering vouchers for swimming lessons at no cost” to the families.
The bills do not estimate a cost but say the Department of Health “may seek grants or other public or private funding for the program.”