For Immediate Release
Thursday, January 4, 2024
Contact: Mark Ard
PRESS RELEASE: Florida Recovers Unspent Taxpayer Money Authorized for Memorial from onePULSE Foundation
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
Today, Secretary of State Cord Byrd announced that attorneys for onePULSE Foundation in Orlando have agreed to a settlement and repaid $394,321 in taxpayer funds received as a Cultural Facilities Grant from the Florida Department of State.
“Taxpayers expect the State of Florida to be good stewards of their money. The money provided by the grant to onePULSE Foundation was authorized by the Florida Legislature for a specific purpose,” said Secretary of State Cord Byrd. “The Foundation failed to fulfill the requirements set forth in the grant. Through our efforts, the money is now being returned to the State, and the Legislature will determine the best use of these monies to honor the memory of the victims.”
On October 29, 2019, the Florida Department of State and onePULSE Foundation, Inc. entered into an agreement for a Cultural Facilities Grant Award in the amount of $500,000 for the specific purpose of creating a memorial to honor the 49 people who were killed and 53 people who were wounded in the tragic shooting on June 12, 2016, at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando. On October 27, 2023, onePULSE Foundation notified the Orange County Mayor that the Foundation was not going to move forward with plans to construct the museum. The Department subsequently sent a letter demanding repayment of 100% of the grant funds paid, which equaled $394,321.
For more information about the Cultural Grants Program, visit dos.fl.gov/cultural/grants.