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Gov. DeSantis signs child welfare bill to support 'responsible' fatherhood

He signed the bill at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers training center in Tampa.

TAMPA, Fla. — On Monday, Gov. Ron DeSantis — with daughter Mamie in his lap and daughter Madison by his side — signed HB 7065, a child welfare bill that promotes "responsible" fatherhood in the state.

He put pen to paper at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' AdventHealth Training Center in Tampa. The new law, which will take effect on July 1, will provide $70 million to organizations that promote fatherhood and support families in Florida. 

"If you look over the last many decades, one of the worst social trends has been the decline of fatherhood," DeSantis said during the news conference as he stood in front of a placard that read "Strong Fathers, Strong Florida."

"And we do have, in many instances, a fatherhood crisis in this country. The fact of the matter is when you take kids that do not have a father present during their upbringing, the chance of them dropping out of school, getting involved in trouble with the law, having other difficulties increases dramatically." 

The $70 million earmarked in this bill will help fund programs throughout Florida that help families and parents. The funding will be distributed through the Florida Department of Children and Families, DeSantis said.

Joining him for the announcement was former Bucs head coach Tony Dungy, who is also the spokesperson of and contributor to Tampa-based All Pro Dad

"I wanna thank everybody [who's been a part of this bill] because it's going to allow groups like ours, people like you to do great things for our fathers here in Florida." 

"This bill isn't going to solve everything, but I think it can help, and I think empowering groups like you see with Tony Dungy and Jack Brewer is going to make a real, real difference," DeSantis said.

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