Bill to Establish Voting Requirements for Ex-Felons Approved by Florida House Panel

A Florida House panel this week approved a bill requiring ex-criminals to pay fines and fines before their voting rights are restored, prompting criticism from those who say it would undermine a new law. amendment allowing more than one million former electors to vote.

Proponents of the bill, approved Tuesday by the House of Commons Criminal Justice Subcommittee, controlled by Republicans, claim that it is simply intended to resolve issues relating to the implementation of the bill. Amendment 4 approved by voters in November.

But advocates argue that the bill would unfairly punish those unable to pay and compromise the central purpose of the amendment, which is to put an end to permanent disenchantment.

"This bill goes against exactly what two-thirds of Florida voters said very clearly," said Sean Morales-Doyle, a lawyer at the Brennan Center for Justice in New York.

"We hope that improvements can be made to this bill, which will ensure bipartisan support before its passage to the next committee," Desmond Meade, chairman of the coalition, said in a statement.

"Amendment 4 has been adopted with the broad support of people from all walks of life and from all walks of life," he said. "Any proposed legislation should neither limit the rights created by Amendment 4 nor violate the will of Florida voters."

The case is particularly pernicious in Florida because of the state's strict rules on fines and fees, said Ashley Thomas, director of the Fines and Fees Justice Center, a non-profit justice center in Florida.

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