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Florida Legislature approves payments to parents of children who died of brain injuries

Ruth and Jean Joseph Jacques cradle their baby, Reggie Jacques.
Miami Herald
To parents like Ruth Jacques of Orlando, who was outraged to learn that NICA prevented her from holding anyone responsible for the 2018 death of her son, this year’s legislation is a long-overdue acknowledgment of her pain. Pictured: Ruth and Jean Joseph Jacques cradle their baby, Reggie Jacques.

In a legislative session highlighted by culture war battles and redistricting, Florida lawmakers made time to to give a measure of mercy to a group of parents whose children died of catastrophic birth-related brain injuries.

Following up on action taken last year, the Legislature voted to give $150,000 stipends to parents whose children were once enrolled in a state program called the Birth-Related Neurological Injury Compensation Association (NICA) but had been dropped from the rolls when the children succumbed to their birth injuries.

Families of surviving NICA children received identical stipends last year as part of a comprehensive slate of reforms, but the families of children who died were left out, despite sometimes spending themselves into poverty trying to keep their children alive.

Read more from our news partner at The Miami Herald.

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