Proactively saving the lives of our youth with positive programs should be a priority for Lawmakers serving the great state of Florida.

The Florida House of Representatives and the Florida State Senate are majority ruled by the Republicans in the state of Florida. Not all, but some, lawmakers are placing higher priority on correctional facilities versus positive youth development programs like the Florida Police Athletic League Programs.

I truly believe some Lawmakers in the state of Florida are serving a small group of citizens within their circle of friends and not the majority of citizens. Passing House and Senate Bills pertaining to our youth safety should be the highest priority.

Currently, House Bill (HB) 2651 and similar bills from the past were denied funding for the Florida Police Athletic League Programs. If HB 2651 would have been passed, this year the Florida Police Athletic League Programs would have received $800,000-plus dollars throughout the state of Florida to provide: mentoring, crime prevention and intervention programs for our youth.

There are some cities nearby — Tampa, Orlando and Jacksonville — that truly need the funding to save youth lives.

Unless some State Lawmakers are invested in for-profit correctional facilities, why not pass HB 2651 that provide services for the Florida Police Athletic League Programs?

Let’s save youth lives.

Dr. Shandale Terrell, Lakeland

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