Sen. Travis Hutson, Florida Swims Foundation, and FSPA Celebrate New Swim Lesson Legislation

Fspa Sen Hutson Water Safety Month Event 5 1 24

On Wednesday, May 1, representatives from the Florida Swims Foundation and the Florida Swimming Pool Association (FSPA) and state Sen. Travis Hutson will celebrate the newly signed Swim Lesson Voucher Program bill. This appearance will be open to the press and serve as an official kickoff to National Water Safety Month, which takes place annually in May. 

The Swim Lesson Voucher Program bill, SB 544, was recently signed into law by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. The new law is responsible for creating a swim lesson  voucher program for families with young children to use throughout Florida. Under the provisions of this law, any Florida family with children four years of age or younger can qualify for swim lesson vouchers which cover or offset the cost of swim lessons. 

“Whether or not a child in Florida can swim is too often a matter of life and death. Something that important shouldn’t be dependent on a family’s income level. This program will work to ensure money is no longer a barrier to gaining these life-saving lessons,” says Sen. Travis Hutson, the bill’s sponsor. 

During the 2024 Florida Legislative Session, FSPA collaborated with Sen. Hutson and additional co-sponsors to make crucial amendments to SB 544 and the house companion bill HB 581. These efforts increased both the value and effectiveness of the voucher program created by the bill. Now that the bill has become law, FSPA is taking a leading role in the rule development process that will guide the voucher program. Representatives from FSPA will work closely with the Department of Health to ensure that the program is implemented in the most efficient and effective manner possible. 

"It is the goal of FSPA to provide consistent, thorough support for legislative matters which align with both our members and the community they serve,” says Dallas Thiesen, FSPA chief government relations officer. “We are proud to have collaborated with Sen. Hutson and the other bill sponsors to successfully create and provide feedback on a vital program that will now immediately impact swim lessons and subsequently lessen drowning rates throughout our state.” 

As part of the next steps in the program implementation process, the Florida Swims Foundation, the 501(c)(3) non-profit arm of FSPA, will proactively seek a contract with the Department of Health under this program to ensure that all swim lesson providers the Foundation supports will be verified and continue to give lessons through the voucher program. 

“Both the Florida Swims Foundation and the Florida Swimming Pool Association  are in a unique position to raise awareness of and help prevent childhood  drownings,” says Elizabeth McMurray, CEO of FSPA. “This new swim lesson voucher program will be key to not only sharing the mission of the Florida Swims Foundation, but also further putting that mission in action by providing vetted swim lesson providers to our Florida community-at-large.” 

Press is invited to join representatives from FSPA, the Florida Swims Foundation, and Sen. Hutson to celebrate this milestone in the safe swimming movement at a special ceremony that will take place at: 

Swimming Safari Swim School 

4775 Windsor Commons Court 

Jacksonville, FL 32224 

4:00 p.m. 

For more information about the Swim Lesson Voucher law, please click here. For more information about the Florida Swims Foundation, please visit  

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