Governor looks set to clamp down on healthcare funding for universities where gender reassignment is supported.
January has been a busy month for Florida's Governor. In the latest of a number of somewhat controversial, anti-liberal moves, a memo became public, dated January 11, from DeSantis' Office and Budget Policy Director Chris Spencer. It was addressed to all 12 Florida State University System institutions and requested various data related to “persons suffering from gender dysphoria” who have sought care at a state university-funded health facility.
A four-page document accompanying the memo, also compels the institutions to supply a wealth of data from as far back as 2018, including the number of people diagnosed with gender dysphoria, the number who sought gender-affirming surgeries and medications, how many received behavioral health services in addition to gender-affirming care, and comprehensive breakdowns of each sub-category.
What's the agenda here?
According to Spencer's memo, the official reason for the data collection is to ensure school administrators are “governing institutional resources and protecting the public interest” appropriately. In practice though, it seems likely to be the first step towards removing funding for any institution that offers such care, much like the ban already in effect for Florida Medicaid programs.
In response to the memo, Brandon Wolf, Press Secretary for Equality Florida said in a statement:
This is another example of DeSantis using his office to attempt to intimidate colleges and universities into becoming less inclusive of their students for his political gain. Those institutions should continue providing affirming services for all students despite the governor's attempts to intimidate them.
Protector of Freedoms?
DeSantis is keen to publicise his commitment to freedom and preservation of the free state of Florida. However, this latest move to unearth details of funding and potentially restrict Trans rights to state healthcare within universities, appears to be the latest in a flurry of anti-liberal, anti-Woke maneuvers:
- January 6, DeSantis appointed conservative activist - Christopher Rufo - to the board of Sarasota New College to implement his plans for conservative educational reform. The appointment was described by the governor as a means of becoming 'focused on academic excellence and the pursuit of truth, not the imposition of trendy ideology', and removing all teaching of Critical Race Theory.
- January 15, DeSantis lashed-out at the National Hockey League when it emerged that the NHL had placed an advert on LinkedIn promoting a 'woke' recruitment event that was unreasonably biased towards minority groups. The Governor slammed the NHL who immediately withdrew the advert.
- January 19, the DeSantis administration rejected a new high school Advanced Placement African-American studies course, without even seeing its syllabus. The reaction is based on claims that it violates the state's ban on "woke" education and "lacks educational value."
It seems that DeSantis' concern for the protection of freedoms may only extend to those that support his conservative anti-Woke agenda?
It will be interesting to see the extent to which Florida's state funding is shaped in the forthcoming March legislative sessions, following DeSantis' moves to suppress the so-called culture of 'woke' in sport, education and industry in Florida.
What's your view? Is DeSantis appropriately representing the views of Floridians with his staunchly anti-Woke, anti-liberal stance? Is this standpoint likely to enhance or hinder his success in the anticipated presidential candidacy? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below?
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