State Representative Daisy Morales (D-Orlando) today sent a letter calling on Governor Ron DeSantis to honor the Down Syndrome and intellectual disability community at the Special Olympics USA Games in Orlando with a bill signing for CS/CS/SB 364 – Specialty License Plates.
Representative Morales filed Down Syndrome Specialty License Plate legislation during the 2022 Legislative Session, which was amended into CS/CS/HB 67 and Senate companion bill CS/CS/SB 364, which includes seven other specialty tags. The bill currently sits on the governor’s desk.
The bill proposes the sale of Down Syndrome specialty license plates and breaks down where the proceeds will go. Fifteen percent will be dedicated to World Changer scholarships provided by Our City Beautiful, a non-profit organization, for Florida residents 18 years of age or older with Down Syndrome who wish to further their education at Florida postsecondary educational institutions.
Thirty-five percent will be used for grants to other nonprofit organizations within Florida to support housing, educational scholarships, and employment assistance programs for people with Down Syndrome or other intellectual disability.
The bill stipulates that 3,000 specialty plates must be pre-ordered in order for the plates to be printed, which facilitates Rep. Morales’s primary goal of raising awareness about Down Syndrome and intellectual disabilities. The 2022 Special Olympics USA Games has drawn over 5,000 Special Olympics athletes and over 4,000 parents and supporters.
“I believe now is the best time to sign this bill into law. What better way to unveil the Down Syndrome specialty tag than at the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games?” Rep. Morales said. “With this bill signing, the thousands of Special Olympics athletes and Florida residents who have Down Syndrome and other intellectual disabilities will receive the help they need for housing, education, and employment assistance, plus the organizations that serve them will get a much-needed boost in funding to do even more for them.”
“This also serves as a tribute to my late sister Diana, who had Down Syndrome. I was her primary caretaker. I want to thank my colleagues in the Florida Legislature, Representative Rizo and Senator Bean for their collaboration on this bipartisan legislation.”
See attached letter.