Governor Rick Scott Vetoes Mental Health Bill

Jun 13, 2013

Florida Governor Rick Scott vetoed a bill Wednesday aimed at improving mental health care in the judicial system.  The bill would have simplified and streamlined the transfer process between different facilities. 

Scott, however, objected to a different provision in the bill that would have placed a three year limit on rehabilitation before the accused could stand trial.

In his veto letter, Governor Scott said dismissing criminal charges after three years for individuals unable to stand trial presents a public safety risk.  But State Senator and bill sponsor Eleanor Sobel contends Scott’s opposition is misguided.

“The reduction would only be for non-violent offenses.  Many many states have done the same thing – reduce the court time from five to three years.  So it released a lot of the resources to be used on the real criminals,” Sobel said.

The bill passed unanimously, but Governor Scott says it is too lenient with individuals charged with attempting violent crimes.  Senator Sobel says she will continue pushing for reforms in the next session.