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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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by wilhem Location: Tallahassee on Jun 27, 2011 at 11:24 AM
    come on guys and girls, this is who you all wanted. Your grandparents and disabled family members, those who are less fortunate are suffering because of your own selfishness and greed.
  • by Anonymous on Jun 26, 2011 at 10:40 AM
    It isn't the background check cost (which wakulla county pays for) It's the cost of gas to deliver the meals on wheels.
  • by panhandlesue Location: Wakulla on Jun 26, 2011 at 05:04 AM
    Make no mistake! This background check is another TAX on Florida residents. This "Scott person" is all business about first firing State workers then rehiring them in the name of "creating" more jobs. He encouraged Insurance companies to write the new law (legislators did not write this bill) to allow property insurance to raise their rates in Florida in response to disasters around the world. Electing Scott was like inviting the vampire into your home.
  • by Sara Location: Valdosta on Jun 25, 2011 at 07:13 PM
    Background checks for $24 by the local law enforcement should be adequate. The checks are necessary...unfortunately there are too many people out there who would quickly find victims without this provision.
  • by Steve Location: Marietta, Georgia on Jun 25, 2011 at 06:03 PM
    [Florida native, resident] What a pile of thash we have now? And you people thought that J.E.B. was somewhat rough around the edges? Do Tell!
  • by terry Location: tally on Jun 25, 2011 at 03:20 PM
    • reply
      by Random Govt Employee on Jun 27, 2011 at 11:27 AM in reply to terry
      Go ahead and drink the Koolaid.
  • by panhandlesue Location: Wakulla on Jun 25, 2011 at 01:21 PM
    Transparent government??? Scott is wielding his strong arm veto tactics not only on the elderly and kids, but has included making a website disappear that compared property insurance rates of companies in Florida! This is an unethical move following more moves to rip off the taxpayers by allowing property insurance companies to raise their rates! How long can this "Scott person" get away with unethical but quasi-legal directives? He'll ruin the State before his office term is up!
  • by Mike S Location: out of state on Jun 25, 2011 at 11:23 AM
    Most would agree the need for some type of check is self-evident. However, the free checks mentioned in some of the previous comments are worth the price paid; as they are merely a supplemental check of a partial database. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) sells its background checks for $24. Many other states with similar programs also make provision for checks on volunteers to be at a lower price. Looks to me that the problem is the bill. A simple research project may have led a progressive legislator to introduce a bill to have these checks use FDLE with a provision to lower the price to for volunteers (such as $15). I think your governor did the right thing; the message here is write a better law.
    • reply
      by Wilhem on Jun 27, 2011 at 11:26 AM in reply to Mike S
      Please comment in your own state, we have enough problems.
  • by tally lassie Location: leon on Jun 25, 2011 at 09:50 AM
    So is there an age limit on this??? Seeing my children volunteer at nursing home and meals on wheels as well as other things. Aren't records sealed for minors anyway, not that my 11 year old has a record anyway but I sure hope some sense of reason went into the details of this bill. Ageed, can't help but wonder who will be making bucks off this one.
  • by dog Location: gone on Jun 25, 2011 at 08:09 AM
    Yes SCOTT IS RIGHT. BACKGROUND CHECK anyone dealing with children or the ELDERLY lots of CRIMINALS taking advantage of the ELDERLY.
    • reply
      by to dog on Jun 25, 2011 at 11:26 AM in reply to dog
      they were already doing back ground checks, but the state was paying for the check, now the volunteer has to pay out of their own pocket, and probally to one of Rick Scott's or one of cronies' company!!
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