Bill sponsors disappointed in Scott prison rehab bill veto

Apr 9, 2012

A bill that would have let non-violent felons who complete drug rehab get their sentences reduced has fallen under the Governor’s veto pen. As Sascha Cordner reports, the bill’s sponsor says he’s saddened by Governor Rick Scott’s rejection of what he calls “smart justice prison reform.”

Democratic Representative Ari Porth says his bill would have allowed a judge to re-sentence inmates who completed a drug rehab program.

“It was carefully tailored to be directed at a small group of addicts that we could have helped turn around, get back to their families, be productive citizens, get back to work, that’s part of the reason why Senator Bogdanoff and myself are disappointed with this particular veto.”

But, in his veto letter, Governor Rick Scott said the legislation would have released criminals too early, which goes against Florida law that inmates serve 85-percent of their sentences. Porth is term-limited out and will not be returning next year to the Florida House. He says Senate sponsor Ellyn Bogdanoff would be willing to take up the bill again, if she gets re-elected.