Florida's Republican governor Rick Scott is a multi-millionaire. He made his big bucks in the health care industry, but not by actually providing services to patients. He made his money by defrauding Medicare.*
Continuing his personal tradition of indifference to trauma and suffering, Scott vetoed $1.5 million in funding for 30 rape crisis centers across Florida.
The funding had been passed by the legislature, because of a demonstrated increase in need for victim services.
A spokesperson for the governor said that the victim services funding was line-item vetoed because "nobody was able to make it clear to him why rape crisis centers needed the new funding."
But that's because the only advocate for the funding that Gov. Scott asked was "nobody."
Jennifer Dritt, advocate for the rape crisis centers said, "We gave them information about the number of new survivors we have and we showed them that these rape crisis centers have waiting lists. 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."
Dritt added, the governor is "probably including rape prevention and education money," she said. "You think they would have asked us about that, and we could explain to them very clearly what money is available for our programs. It looks like $1.5 million is a lot of money to ask for, but frankly, when you spread it across 67 counties, it's not."
The multi-millionaire governor decided to cut funding for rape victims during "Sexual Assault Awareness Month."