"Choose Life" License Plate Funds Jacked From Counties in Favor of Anti-Abortion Group
Only in Florida -- where the government prefers to privatize anti-abortion license plates.
Florida's "Choose Life" license plates, created by Ocala-based Choose Life Inc., started popping up on bumpers since the legislation was signed into effect by then-Gov. Jeb Bush.
Since the plate's inception, the funds from purchases of the plate have been distributed to counties across the state based on that county's number of "Choose Life" plates.
Now, the funds go straight to Choose Life Inc., thanks to House Bill 501 signed by Gov. Rick Scott yesterday.
Under the old law, counties would distribute the license-plate funds to nongovernmental and non-for-profit agencies explicitly for counseling and assisting pregnant women who planned to give up their children for adoption.
Choose Life Inc. now gets to take in the cash from the plates, and the changes to the law allow them to spend their new dough on anti-abortion advertising, courtesy of the state.
They also get to pocket a maximum of 15 percent of the money for "administration," as well as specific promotion for the license plate.
Some of the old rules still apply: No spending money on abortion-related activities, including getting counseling at an abortion clinic; no pro-abortion advertising; and of course, no abortions.
In case you're wondering how much money was spent in the state on adoption counseling and assistance using the "Choose Life" license plate funds last year, it was about $450,000.
That sounds great, except for the fact that there's still another $300,000 in unused revenue from the license plates sitting in the state's DMV office, according to My Fox Orlando.
Now Choose Life Inc. has the power to blow the cash on anti-abortion advertising, with the ability to scrape a little off the top for "administration."
Starting October 1, any and all "Choose Life" license plate funds held by counties or the state must be transferred to Choose Life Inc.
Read the entire text of the bill signed by Gov. Scott here.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss New Times Broward-Palm Beach's biggest stories.
- American John Pate Murdered in Venezuela as Violence Spikes
Sat., Oct. 17, 6:00pm
Sat., Oct. 17, 7:00pm
Wed., Oct. 21, 8:00pm
Fri., Oct. 23, 7:00pm
- Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport Workers Getting a Livable-Wage Raise
- Fort Lauderdale Police Officer Almost Run Over by Erratic Driver (Video)