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School Playgrounds For Public Use Bill Flies Through Fla. House Committee

Leon County Schools

A measure encouraging school districts to open up recreational facilities to the public sailed through its first House committee on Tuesday. Bill sponsors say it’s aimed at fighting childhood obesity.

The idea is to make it easier for organizations like the YMCA and for average people to use playgrounds, practice fields and tracks at public schools. House sponsor Jake Raburn (R-Valrico) said, it would give taxpayers access to the facilities they already pay for. And help children become more active.

“Recognizing that we are experiencing an epidemic related to obesity and personal health here in our state, this bill will help to open opportunities for children to play all over Florida, making it easier for schools to open fences around playgrounds," he said.

In exchange for opening their facilities up to the public, school districts won’t be held responsible for injuries that happen there, except for cases of gross negligence or intentional misconduct. That could change in future committee stops.

The bill passed the House last year but failed in the Senate.