DeSantis silent on vetoes of expungement, sentencing bills



(The Center Square) — This week, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis vetoed two criminal reform bills and signed several others into law.

Nine bills in total were sent to DeSantis by the Legislature. However, two bills failed to get the green light from the governor and were vetoed on Tuesday.

House Bill 605, sponsored by Rep. David Smith, R-Winter Springs, would have revised the eligibility criteria under which a person can petition a court to expunge a criminal history record if the court dismisses a charging document.

Also vetoed was Senate Bill 1478, authored by Sen. Corey Simon, R-Tallahassee, which would have revised criminal sentencing, including releasing an offender without bail under certain conditions.

While both the state House and Senate unanimously passed both bills, no explanation was given by DeSantis as to why the bills were vetoed. The bill sponsors have not responded to requests for comment on their respective bills.

DeSantis signed the following bills into law:

HB 27 simplifies recording a judgment lien against a vessel or vehicle with the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles while protecting the interests of future purchasers of the vehicle or vessel.

HB 1301 amends Florida laws related to parenting plans and creates the presumption that equal time-sharing between parents is in the best interests of the child.

HB 1571 amends several laws that authorize the use of audio and video communication technology in juvenile court proceedings to allow people to appear at their court proceeding remotely.

HB 1577 amends laws to extend the time a victim of sexual assault may file a claim for compensation under the Florida Crimes Compensation Act.

SB 164 amends the drug paraphernalia law to exclude narcotic-drug-testing products that are used to determine the presence of fentanyl and its derivatives.

SB 210 modifies the requirements for licensed substance abuse service providers that offer treatment in recovery residences. The bill further prohibits marijuana — including medical cannabis — illegal substances or prescription medications from being used by any recovery provider licensed by the Department of Children and Families.

SB 1676 changes several regulatory requirements for hemp products sold in Florida and defines it as food. The bill also stipulates that hemp products are prohibited from being sold to anyone under the age of 21 years, and manufacturers of hemp products are prohibited from making them “attractive to children.”

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