March 2, 2021

The High Cost of HB 1, the Anti-Peaceful Protest Bill

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.

The Florida Legislature is considering bills, HB 1 and SB 484, that seriously harm freedom of speech in the state and go in the wrong direction for criminal justice reform by adding more felonies and mandatory minimums to our laws. However one overlooked impact of these potential policies is the high cost to the state's Department of Corrections and local city jail budgets, that are already teetering on the brink. The below infographic illustrates the potential fiscal impact of the bills under a scenario where just 3 people are arrested under the proposed regime.

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