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Wed Apr 24, 2019, 09:43 PM

Florida House passes bill allowing ex-felon voting rights

Source: Associated Press

Florida House passes bill allowing ex-felon voting rights
Curt Anderson, Associated Press Updated 5:50 pm CDT, Wednesday, April 24, 2019

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Legislation to restore voting rights to convicted felons except murderers and felony sex offenders has passed the Florida House.

The Republican-dominated House voted 71-45 Wednesday for the bill that would implement a constitutional amendment approved by voters last November. The main issue is whether legislation is needed at all, and whether the bill sets up unnecessary hurdles for ex-felons such as requiring that all fines and restitution be paid.

Republican Rep. Jamie Grant of Tampa, the main sponsor, said completion of a sentence includes probation and any financial obligations ordered by a judge. Opponents said those requirements would bar many former felons and violate the spirit of the constitutional amendment.

The bill now goes to the Senate where a similar measure is pending.


Read more: https://www.chron.com/news/us/article/Florida-House-passes-bill-allowing-ex-felon-13792991.php#photo-17277694



(Short article, no more at link.)

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Wed Apr 24, 2019, 09:48 PM

1. This is a bullshit article. The rights were restored in the 2018 election. This bill is a poll tax.

The AP should be ashamed of how they framed. I would also consider deleting this post entirely given how misleading the article is. The bill was passed to limit voting by requiring ex-felons to pay all fines and such before their rights are restored.

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Response to LonePirate (Reply #1)

Wed Apr 24, 2019, 09:57 PM

2. Exactly, plus it can be difficult to prove

fines were paid 20-25 years ago.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Wed Apr 24, 2019, 10:44 PM

3. The headline is deliberately misleading.

The bill does not "allow" ex-felons to vote. A constitutional amendment passed by 64% of Florida voters restored their rights. This bill seeks to restrict their rights.

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Response to hay rick (Reply #3)

Wed Apr 24, 2019, 11:27 PM

4. Yep. Typical Tallahassee Republican bs. DeSantis should call it out after refusing to sign it.

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Response to hay rick (Reply #3)

Thu Apr 25, 2019, 01:32 AM

5. Florida House Approves Requiring People To Repay Criminal Fines, Fees Before They Can Vote

04/24/2019 11:07 pm ET Updated 0 minutes ago
Florida House Approves Requiring People To Repay Criminal Fines, Fees Before They Can Vote
Critics say the legislation amounts to a poll tax and violates a constitutional amendment that voters overwhelmingly approved in November to allow people with felonies to vote.

By Sam Levine

The Florida House approved a controversial measure Wednesday requiring people with felony convictions to repay all of the financial obligations ordered as part of their sentence before they can vote again.

The legislation comes after Florida voters overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment in November to repeal the state’s lifetime voting ban for people with felony convictions. Now, people with felonies can vote once they have entirely completed their sentence, including probation and parole. The constitutional amendment only exempts people convicted of murder and felony sexual offenses from having their voting rights restored. Its passage was heralded as an enormous step forward for Florida and could affect up to 1.4 million people.

The groups who backed the constitutional amendment strongly opposed the measure the Florida House approved 71-45 along party lines Wednesday. Many people in the criminal justice system accumulate huge fines and fees and requiring people to repay those debts before they can vote will effectively continue to disenfranchise people with felony convictions. The Florida House bill would require people to repay any restitution, as well as fines and fees ordered by a judge ― even if those obligations are converted to a civil lien ― before they can vote again. The bill does not require people to repay fines and fees they accrue beyond the judge’s sentence in order to vote.

Supporters of November’s amendment that repealed felony voting prohibitions say it is acceptable to require people to pay restitution ordered by a judge or fines and fees that are part of one’s sentence. But they say the amendment does not allow the state to require fines and fees on top of that before they can vote. They also say that people whose legal financial obligations are converted to liens because they can’t pay them should be able to vote.

More:
https://www.huffpost.com/entry/florida-felon-disenfranchisement-poll-tax_n_5cc1106ae4b01b6b3efc6ebe

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