By
Tachana Joseph-Marc
|
March 25, 2021

Point of View: DeSantis’ anti-peaceful protest bill is bad for basic civil rights, bad for the budget [Palm Beach Post]

This post was last updated on September 29, 2021. As new policies are announced, FPI will update this page.

As Florida’s response to COVID-19 takes front and center, concern grows for low-income families who struggle to take precautions against the spread of the virus. Although Congress has passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act to address, at least in part,  the public health crisis and economic fallout from COVID-19, many barriers continue to keep struggling families from accessing the assistance they need during the pandemic. As Florida initiates policies implementing the Act and addressing other barriers to the safety net, FPI will update this form. When available, hyperlinks are provided to agency documents or statements that provide greater detail  about the new policy.

On March 22, 2020, FPI and 44 other organizations sent a letter to Governor DeSantis, leadership in the Legislature and agency heads to urge action on 47 specific policy changes to reduce unnecessary barriers for Florida’s safety net programs in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. See the letter here.

Tachana Joseph-Marc writes:
"Local and national advocates have denounced Gov. Ron DeSantis’ “anti-mob” bill, now known as HB 1/SB 484, for its attack on civil rights, its criminalization of peaceful protestors, and its potential to perpetuate racial disparities in Florida’s prisons. In addition to its blatant attempt to trample on civil liberties, the bill is also very bad for the state’s budget, specifically the state Department of Corrections (DOC).

The legislation would enhance sentences for existing crimes — including “committing a riot,” the sentence for which would increase from five to 15 years — while creating a series of new offenses, including “mob intimidation” and “cyber intimidation.” As a result, the bill would lead to an increase in incarceration rates and longer sentences, thus increasing both the prison population and the costs to DOC.

Tachana Joseph-Marc is a policy analyst at the non-partisan, non-profit Florida Policy Institute [emphasis added]."

Read more on palmbeachpost.com

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