‘It’s just the right thing to do:’ DeSantis signs ‘Responsible Fatherhood’ bill into law

Bill allocates $70 million in funding toward state family and youth organizations

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks during a news conference, Feb. 1, 2022, in Miami. Gov. DeSantis has signed a bill that forbids instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity in kindergarten through third grade. The Republican governor signed the measure into law on Monday, March 28, 2022 following a news conference at a charter school in which he and several others spoke in support of it. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell) (Rebecca Blackwell, Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

TAMPA, Fla. – Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed House Bill 7065 into law Monday at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ indoor practice facility.

The child welfare bill focuses on encouraging fathers to take an active role in their children’s lives and provides grants to community-based membership programming.

[TRENDING: Property insurance attorney offers perspective on Florida’s insurance crisis | Kmart now down to 3 stores. Here’s where they’re located | Become a News 6 Insider (it’s free!)]

“This bill is tied to $70 million in funding to provide a wide array of family and youth support through our Department of Children and Families as well as our Department of Juvenile Justice,” he said. “They will be working very closely to support fatherhood throughout our state.”

DeSantis said the goal of the bill is to create awareness for the importance of fatherhood and give fathers the resources to stay in their children’s lives. The bill would also provide grant funding to Florida nonprofit organizations that center around fatherhood, like All Pro Dad, an organization created by former Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Tony Dungy.

“We’ve got programs, we’ve got community groups and nonprofits that want to be there to help and so we’re putting our money where our mouth is. We’re here showing the importance of this,” DeSantis said. “But you have to be willing to do the right thing and be present in your child’s life.”

The new law will also designate June as “Responsible Fatherhood Month.”

The law goes into effect July 1.

About the Author:

Penny De La Cruz started working at WKMG-TV in September 2021. Before joining News 6, Penny worked at KSAT 12 in San Antonio, Texas.