mandatory minimum

Sen. Jeff Brandes (R-St. Petersburg)
Nick Evans

A bipartisan coalition of Florida lawmakers are pushing two criminal justice reforms meant to roll back mass incarceration.

Then Rep. Randolph Bracy (D-Ocoee) debating on the House floor.
Mark Foley via FL House website / Florida House of Representatives

Florida lawmakers are cracking down on the synthetic opioid fentanyl. Legislation punishing its possession is heading to the governor.

FAMM

Advocates say more conservative Republicans are seeing the wisdom of reforming minimum mandatory sentencing laws.

Florida Channel

A bill making changes to Florida’s 10-20-Life law is now heading to the House floor.

MGN Online

A bill making changes to Florida’s 10-20-Life law is now heading to the Senate floor, after passing its last committee Thursday.

A bill aimed at eliminating the unintended consequences of Florida’s 10-20-Life law in self-defense claims unanimously passed its first House panel Wednesday.

MGN Online

Florida lawmakers are hoping to continue moving a bill forward aimed at changing Florida’s minimum mandatory sentencing rules. It comes on the heels of a recent decision by the state’s Executive Board to reject a request to release a Florida man early from prison, who fired a warning shot and received a 20 year prison sentence.

MGN Online

A bill changing Florida’s minimum mandatory sentencing rules passed its first Senate panel Monday.

http://www.aaroncohenlaw.org/

Governor Rick Scott signed two bills into law Tuesday aimed at making Florida’s roadways safer.

Hit-And-Run Drivers Crackdown

One bill increases penalties for leaving the scene of a crash resulting in the death or injury of a person from a minimum of two to four years in prison. The Aaron Cohen Life Protection Act is named after a cyclist killed in 2012 by a hit-and-run driver.

MGN Online

The Florida Senate approved a slew of measures, teed up some others, and put several measures on hold. They range from an inmate porn ban to a bill stiffening the penalties for hit-and-run drivers.

Flood Insurance Bill

The Florida Senate started off the Session by quickly passing St. Petersburg Republican Senator Jeff Brandes’ Florida Insurance legislation. The measure aims to make it easier for private companies to sell flood insurance.

“Senator Brandes, you are recognized on the bill,” said Senate President Don Gaetz.

MGN Online

A bill revising the penalties for trafficking certain illegal drugs narrowly cleared its first Senate hurdle Monday. It’s the second time lawmakers have attempted to give it a hearing.

Last month, Tampa Democratic Senator Arthenia Joyner tabled her bill so concerns from Republican members of the Senate Criminal Justice Committee, the Florida Sheriff’s Association, and State Attorneys could be addressed.

MGN Online

Florida lawmakers are holding off on a bill revising the minimum mandatory penalties for the trafficking of certain illegal drugs, after questions were raised in its first Senate hearing Monday.

Tampa Democratic Senator Arthenia Joyner says her bill allows a judge not to impose the three-year minimum mandatory penalty for a first offense of trafficking small amounts of illegal drugs, including cocaine or LSD. She says judges currently only have that discretion with juvenile offenders.

MGN Online

A bipartisan bill that revises the penalties for trafficking certain prescription drugs cleared its first House committee Wednesday. But, some say the measure is too lenient.

Getty Images

Making sure released inmates don’t come back to prison is a main goal for prison reform advocates not only on the federal level, but the state level as well. Florida, in recent years, has tried and failed to implement a series of prison reforms, particularly aimed at drug offenders.  But, that won’t deter those same advocates from bringing back those same reforms next year.

Mandatory Minimums

There’s now a bipartisan effort in the Florida Legislature to grant judges more flexibility when sentencing prescription drug offenders.  The measure passed through its first House Committee Tuesday, but attracted much opposition from state prosecutors and law enforcement officers. Bill supporters say it would allow people addicted to prescription drugs to get necessary drug treatment. But, others say the bill will roll back the progress made in recent years to halt the illegal flow of prescription drugs.