Florida lawmakers propose giving $2 million to Pulse memorial and museum

click to enlarge Florida lawmakers propose giving $2 million to Pulse memorial and museum
Photo by Joey Roulette
Two Florida lawmakers have filed a bill proposing $2 million in state funds for the memorial and museum dedicated to the 49 victims of the 2016 mass shooting at the gay nightclub Pulse.

HB 3583, filed by state Reps. Holly Raschein, R-Key Largo, and Carlos Guillermo Smith, D-Orlando, would give the money to the onePULSE Foundation, an organization created by Pulse owner Barbara Poma.

Smith previously tried to get money to build the Pulse memorial when $1 million in funds were provided to build a monument at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School after the Parkland shooting, but his proposal failed.

"The activities and services include a memorial that is free and open to the public, that will serve as a place of hope and healing for the community that responded with love and courage to the second largest terrorist attack on U.S. soil since 9/11," according to an appropriations request for the funds. "The museum will provide an education center, along with artifacts that tell the story of Pulse. … The memorial will become a place where family members, members of the community and international visitors can come to remember the lives lost on that tragic day."

The funding request outlines how the $2 million will be spent, including:

- $77,250 for the salary and benefits of the executive director who is managing the foundation and the $35 million design and construction of the Pulse memorial.
- $37,500 to hire a curator who will "select, secure, catalog, curate and maintain artifacts" for the Pulse museum.
- $28,000 for memorial maintenance, insurance and utilities.
- $125,000 for security services.
- $1.73 million for the Pulse memorial's design, construction, demolition and clearing, and site preparation.

The request also gives us more detail about the museum, which will include an "education center and curriculum developed in partnership with the Disney Institute," known as the Pulse Academy. This program will "teach cultural competency to local educators and corporations, ensuring
diversity and inclusion in these institutions."

The onePULSE Foundation was already awarded $10 million in hotel-tax revenues by the Orange County Board of County Commissioners.

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