Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) signed HB7065, known as the Fatherhood bill. With the legislation, it would direct around $70 million in funding that would promote involved fatherhood in the state. In supporting the bill, the Governor provided further comments to his supporters, discussing the “fatherhood crisis” and how his bill will allegedly respond to the concern.
After signing the bill, the DeSantis provided a press release, noting information from the U.S. Census Bureau as to why the bill is necessary.
Since then, the Governor is still praising the bill, expressing that “one of the worst societal trends our country has experienced recently is the decline of active fathers, leading to a nationwide fatherhood crisis that harms thousands of Florida families each year.”
Arguing that “the statistics speak for themselves,” DeSantis commented that “90% of homeless and runaway children, 70% of high school dropouts, and 60% of youth who commit suicide did not have a father in the home.”
Citing his role as a father, DeSantis shared that the “fatherhood crisis” is a concern to him because he knows “firsthand that being a father is not a job you clock out of.” However, he mentioned that “it has been the most rewarding experience.”
In turn, his Fatherhood bill seeks to respond to this concern, saying that he wants “to provide more than $70 million to support fatherhood,” and the “funding will go towards putting programs in place to encourage Florida’s fathers to have an active role in their children’s lives.”
This is because, according to DeSantis, “the future of our state is dependent on the success of our children.”
Governor DeSantis further noted in the message that him and the First Lady have taken a "commitment to prioritizing Florida's parents."
The Department of Juvenile Justice will be creating a mentorship program directed to at-risk youth through the new measure, and this would provide numerous programs such as fatherhood classes and barbershop talks.