Florida lawmakers agree to give $500K for a permanent Pulse memorial


  • Photo by Joey Roulette
Earlier this week, funding for a permanent Pulse nightclub memorial had dwindled to $0 on the budget proposals. Now, the Florida House has joined in with a proposed budget that matches the state Senate's $500,000 allocation for the memorial.

In the nearly three years since the June 2016 mass shooting where a gunman killed 49 people, the site of the former gay nightclub has served as an interim memorial. Currently, Pulse owner Barbara Poma and her nonprofit, the onePULSE Foundation, are hosting an international design competition for the permanent structure.

"Our budget chairs have listened to us in our sincere and authentic attempt to secure funding for the Pulse Orlando memorial and should be applauded," state Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith, D-Orlando, writes on Twitter.

Last year, $1 million in funding was included in the legislative package for a memorial at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland after a gunman killed 17 students and teachers at the school in February 2018.

During the same legislative session, Smith proposed an amendment to the legislation that would have included $1 million for a Pulse memorial, but the amendment didn't pass.

State Sen. Linda Stewart, D-Orlando, told Orlando Weekly that after fighting for two sessions to get funding for the Pulse memorial, she's pleased that leadership in the House and Senate have come to an agreement for $500,000.

"This is the first step toward memorializing the victims, families, and the Central Florida community, as well as the state of Florida as a whole," she says in a statement.

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