(PresidentialWire.com)- Republican Governor of Florida Ron DeSantis used his power of veto on Tuesday to block a new bill that would have given young offenders an opportunity to expunge their criminal records – even if they have committed serious crimes – if they complete a behavioral program.
It’s a risky move for DeSantis because, even though it sounds sensible to protect the American people from those with a criminal past, it did pass the Republican-late state Senate and House with unanimous support. So his decision flies in the face of what his Republican legislator colleagues have said on the matter.
Had the bill passed, it would have allowed minors with criminal records to take part in a diversion program, designed to encourage them to be better citizens and refrain from committing crimes again in the future. Discretion would have been left to the law enforcement officer who first came into contact with the juvenile after they committed a crime, or the state attorney who was handling their case.
It means that not every child would have their record expunged, but many would have. Under existing law in Florida, only misdemeanors committed by juveniles can be expunged.
DeSantis said that SB 274 raises concerns over the safety of the people of Florida, noting that it would have even allowed serious felonies, including sexual battery, to be wiped from a juvenile’s record. He said that such a move would have “negative impacts on public safety.”
No kidding. Imagine if somebody got hurt because they didn’t know about someone’s criminal background because of this new Florida law…don’t you think the Democrats would blame Governor DeSantis for signing it?
Legislators were reportedly surprised by the move, with Democratic state Senator Annette Taddeo saying she was “dumbfounded.”
A Democrat surprised by politicians working to improve the lives and safety of American citizens? No shock there…