SB 194 passed the Senate Committee on Criminal Justice but died in the Appropriations Subcommittee on Criminal and Civil Justice. There was no activity in the House.
Florida law prohibits people with certain criminal offenses in their background from obtaining occupational licenses, and occupational licensing boards can broadly factor criminal backgrounds into licensing decisions through “good character” provisions. This creates an arbitrary barrier for returning citizens to gaining access to dozens of occupations, increasing both financial insecurity and recidivism. We support legislative changes that would reduce barriers for returning citizens to obtain occupational licenses.
FPI published a three-part series, “Florida’s Approach to Criminal Justice Cannot Go Back to ‘Normal’,” which included a blog post that called on legislators to reduce occupational licensing barriers for Floridians with a criminal record. Additionally, FPI teamed up with the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition on an op-ed — the piece appeared in the Tampa Bay Times — which stated that there is more work must be done to ensure that everyone, including returning citizens, have the opportunity to fully contribute to Florida’s economy.