Republican policymakers at the local, state, and federal level are targeting new restrictions in women’s health; congressional Republicans are balking at the Violence Against Women Act; and GOP leaders, including the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, won’t take a stand in support of fair-pay laws for women.
Leave it to Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) to find a way to make matters worse.
On April 17, smack in the middle of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, Gov. Rick Scott vetoed $1.5 million for the Florida Council Against Sexual Violence. The Legislature allotted the funds to the organization in order to support 30 rape crisis centers as they face impending reductions in collections, which currently is the bulk of their budgets. […]
Jennifer Dritt, the executive director of the Florida Council, says she is “stunned” the funding was cut. She says the line-item was “new money” meant to ease the reduction in collections that rape crisis centers are facing.
Keep in mind, this money was approved by the Republican-led state legislature, but was removed by Scott himself, taking advantage of his line-item veto power.
The governor’s press secretary told the Huffington Post the state “already funds sexual violence programs, and nobody was able to make it clear to [Scott] why rape crisis centers needed the new funding.”
Dritt responded by pointing to the waiting lists at rape crisis centers: “Survivors are having to wait weeks, sometimes six weeks, in some programs three months to be seen. We included quotes from the programs about the waiting lists and what services they weren’t able to offer because of a lack of money. There is clearly an unmet need.”
That the Republican governor did this in the middle of Sexual Assault Awareness Month appears to be a coincidence.