TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The bill referred to as Jordan's Law passed the Florida House 113-0 on Thursday.
- Jordan's Law passed
- Trial date set for Charisse Stinson on August 10
- Stinson accused of killing son Jordan Belliveau, 2, in 2018
- BELOW: Jordan Belliveau timeline
- MORE stories on Jordan Belliveau
The law is named for Jordan Belliveau, the 2-year-old found dead in Largo in September 2018.
Belliveau's mother Charisse Stinson is set to go on trial in August 2020 for his death.
The bill now moves to Gov. Ron DeSantis' desk to be signed.
Miranda Hoffstetter is a Largo mother who first told Spectrum Bay News 9 in 2018 that she had hoped for these kinds of changes. She started a petition shortly after Jordan's death.
After we interviewed Hoffstetter, we connected her to one of the lawmakers who represents her district, Rep. Chris Latvala. After one meeting with Latvala, they came up with a plan.
For months Latvala fine tuned the bill and named it after Jordan.
Last year the bill passed in the house but never went for a vote in the Senate. But Latvala didn’t give up. He refiled the bill in the house, and Sen. Daryl Rouson filed the bill in the Senate. For weeks the bill’s passage seemed uncertain but Rouson worked diligently to get the bill passed in the Senate that included a few changes.
Hofstetter said she is grateful the bill made it to this point.
“I feel great. I’m so ecstatic that it passed and that we’re finally here and that we can finally breathe a little bit knowing there’s gonna be a huge change in the system,” Hofstetter said. "I mean I can go to work and tell my co-workers, I helped create a law and they are mind blown and it’s amazing to be a part of this. I am definitely glad that it was me that stepped up. It was me that said something.”
The next stop for the bill is the governor’s desk. Once signed, the bill will go into effect July 1, 2020 and the notification of law enforcement section will go into effect March 1, 2021.
WHAT DOES THE BILL DO AND MEAN
Jordan's Law will require communication between law enforcement agencies and the Florida Department of Children and Families related to certain individuals involved in child welfare system.
It will also provide requirements for law enforcement officers and the central abuse hotline. The law would also authorize lead agencies to provide intensive family reunification services that combine child welfare and mental health services to certain families by providing more programs and effective case management.
As for training, the law would require Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission to incorporate training for specified purposes by requiring law enforcement officers to complete straining as part of basic recruit training.
REACTION FROM FAMILY
Jordan was cared for most of his short life by a foster family. He was eventually returned to his parents Charisse Stinson and Jordan Sr. Shortly after, Stinson reported the toddler missing and was later arrested for his murder when his body was found.
Jordan’s foster mother, Juliet Warren, sent a statement reacting to the passing of the bill.
“I am so grateful to see this bill pass. I can’t think of many things more important than advocating for and protecting vulnerable children. It’s been a privilege to be a part of this movement and to see Jordan’s name be honored in this way. His short life is having a ripple effect that is far beyond anything I expected.
Absolutely nothing can erase the pain and horrific ending of his life. But there are more children’s lives at risk everyday and we just can’t afford to stay silent. Seeing people recognize the need for changes in the child welfare system is so encouraging to me and I pray this will help save many precious lives.”