Debate and disagreement continues over Amendment 4
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Debate and disagreement continues over Amendment 4


well the voters spoke agreeing to restore voting rights for felons who had completed their sentence that was November and now months later the process is generating national attention and some controversy Florida lawmakers have taken up the issue where the definition of completed sentence has created a stumbling block almost one and a half million former felons in Florida are waiting to see how the legislature implements amendment 4 there’s debate and disagreement in the state’s capital here’s an example from the house talking about a bill squeezing the way rights can be restored I only have two thumbs and they’re both down on this the will of voter was to not go as far as this bill is gone if I was to step in and start parsing intent and thoughts and objections or objectives of different stakeholders you’re just carving up the deer and and and you’ve lost sight of what is actually the guide the house implementing bill cleared its first committee with a vote down party lines this week sponsor James grant says he included a broad definition of disqualifying sexual offenses and completion of sentence in an attempt to stay as true to the amendment language as possible this Jacksonville man says he sees two sides if the sentence requires me to pay those things then that’s the requirement if I do that it should be a moot point Jared powers regained his voting rights after serving prison time for guns and drugs if lawmakers want to make sure felons financial obligations are met before they can vote powers doesn’t have a problem with it I went and did my time I did my job I paid off my fines I paid off the restitution everything that was required and I feel that that’s just however I don’t think that’s the issue I think there’s people that just don’t want to see me vote powers agrees with critics of the bill saying that he feels like the will of 65% of the voters last November isn’t being upheld let it go you know leave us alone we finished our sentence we’re back in society if we screw up again they’ll lock us up and we won’t be able to vote under the old clemency system felons were only obligated to pay fines and fees if they were specifically included in the judges sentence supporters of amendment four criticized this House bill as restricting as they said the ability to vote for thousands of Floridians especially people who are poor people of color this state’s Association for election supervisors is praising the bill for providing clear direction of county officials

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