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ABC (US) has some background on 2018 Amendment 4 and the Republican effort to get around it.

Now Republican Attorney General Ashley Moody is asking federal and state law enforcement to investigate Michael Bloomberg’s donations to pay off the fines and fees of felons in Florida:

Florida with the help of Republican judges is preventing ex-felons in the state from voting without paying their fines and court costs.

And Mike Bloomberg is donating money to the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, which will pay fines for ex-felons who want to vote.

Moody may be walking into a trap.

As we reported earlier, Florida does not have a statewide database of court fines and discovering what an ex-felon actually owes has proven to take literally years.

Florida’s maximum statute of limitations on debt collection is five years. And there are federal and state laws regarding debt collection that can be brought up by Bloomberg’s army of attorneys, as well.

To get your civil rights restored after serving your sentence for a felony in Florida prior to Amendment 4 meant getting your application before a committee composed of the elected cabinet of the state. They didn’t meet very often and didn’t approve a lot of rights restorations annually. Amendment 4 made the restoration automatic if you finished your sentence and parole. The amendment by law required the votes of a minimum of 60% of the votes in a given election. It passed and the governor and legislature immediately began looking for a way to get around it. They came up with what amounts to a poll tax, requiring the former felons to have paid all of the fines, costs, and restitution that was part of their sentence. Bloomberg’s move to help pay those costs could add thousands to the voting roll who have no reason to like the Republican Party after the way they have been treated.

I would like to hear the justification by the government of Florida for attempting to stop all of that money from being paid to the state. With all of the sales tax and bed tax revenue lost due to COVID-19, the state needs Bloomberg’s money.

September 24, 2020   2 Comments