1. Opinion

Hooper: Like its namesake, Jordan's Law deserved a chance to live

State Rep. Chris Latvala crafted a bill, Jordan’s Law, after speaking with doctors and experts about the death of Jordan Belliveau (pictured), the 2-year-old Largo boy who died last year. The bill passed the house unanimously but stalled in the senate. [Photo courtesy of the Warren family]
Published May 7

State Rep. Chris Latvala and I, along with Becca Tieder and communications expert Karla Mastracchio produce a podcast together. Chris and I disagree. Often.

But I believe in his efforts to add greater protections to our child welfare system. Latvala crafted a bill, Jordan's Law, after speaking with doctors and experts about the death of Jordan Belliveau, the 2-year-old Largo boy who died last year after police say his mother struck him in the head and left him for dead. If the provisions in the bill had been in place, Jordan might be alive today.

The bill passed the house unanimously but got stalled in the senate and failed to reach a vote on the floor of the higher chamber. Latvala said the senate never took it up because of politics and personality, not policy.

"If only dead toddlers could pay for powerful lobbyists that are close to certain senators, then maybe the Florida Senate would do something to protect these kids," Latvala said.

Latvala, usually affable, led with his heart on this bill. It's a shame people who claim to care for kids played games with the bill.. …

Seen on a bumper sticker: Of Course I Can Handle It. I'm A Woman. …

The GOP leadership continued its years-long power grab with a series of laws that violate the spirit of the state constitution — and really all that's American. The will of the people has become a missing element in Tallahassee.

To name one, making it more difficult for Floridians to put constitutional amendments on the ballot will prove onerous. And don't get me started on the latest education initiatives.

People need to have long memories. Like an elephant.

That's all I'm saying.


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