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DeSantis Vetoes GOP Bill Expanding Expungement Of Criminal Records

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis vetoed a GOP-backed criminal justice reform bill that passed with almost unanimous support in both houses of the legislature. DeSantis issued the veto Tuesday but did not explain his reasoning, the Hill reports. The legislation would have amended the Florida statute concerning the expungement of criminal history records, which now prevents people from seeking an expungement if they previously have received a sealing or expungement, unless it involved the expungement of a record previously sealed for 10 years. The measure would have added another exception for individuals who previously received an expungement for an offense that was committed while they were minors. It would not apply to a minor who was charged as an adult. 

The statute concerns records including indictments, charging documents or other information. The legislation was introduced by state Rep. David Smith, a Republican. It passed the House 107-2 and the Senate unanimously. Smith said he considers the expungement of criminal records to affect the workforce and would let people work “at the highest level they’re capable of.” He said he hoped it would help workforce shortages, and the people affected would be those who have not been convicted of any crime in Florida. Smith said he was disappointed the bill was vetoed and that he “committed to good justice reform policy that gives deserving Floridians second chances.” 


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