Background Check Veto

By: Troy Kinsey Email
By: Troy Kinsey Email

Diane Jacobs has a system here at meals on wheels.

One that runs on the heart and soul of more than 400 volunteers.

Every day, they make hundreds of deliveries to people who aren't able to leave the house, let alone afford a hot lunch.

Now, those volunteers may not be able to afford to keep it up.

A bill that would have waived a new mandate that they get a 45-dollar background check has been vetoed by Governor Scott.

Diane Jacobs says, "The community is expected to pick up the slack for the loss in social service programs, and now we're making it harder for them to do what they want to do. They want to give, but this is just asking too much."

The background check requirement doesn't just apply to meals on wheels.

Any part-time volunteer working with kids or the elderly now has to get one before they can get to work.

In casting the veto, Governor Scott wrote that giving volunteers a pass is a safety risk 'not worth taking'.

But, Jim Croteau, who runs elder care services in Tallahassee, says he's never heard of an instance of a volunteer taking advantage of the people they serve.

Croteau's asking lawmakers to hold a vote to override the veto.

Neither he nor his volunteers can afford all those checks.

Now, even the few folks who are actually paid for what they do are volunteering their time to reverse what they call a major mistake.


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