Tallahassee, Fla. — Following the passage of legislation in a Florida Senate committee to gut the intent of the voters when they passed Amendment 4 last November, Andrew Gillum made the following statement:
“The legislation advanced today in committee in the Florida Senate puts a price on restoring the right to vote. It is unconstitutional and wrong.
“Last year, Floridians overwhelmingly passed the largest expansion of the right to vote since the Voting Rights Act. I am proud Floridians stood together and agreed we would not judge each other by our worst day — and yes, we knew exactly what we were voting for.
“I am deeply disappointed in the lawmakers who today passed legislation to rip away the right to vote from hundreds of thousands of former felons. Rather than respect Floridians’ decision to end 150 years of voter suppression, these lawmakers are unconstitutionally excluding new crimes from Amendment 4 and are writing discriminatory ‘cash register justice’ even more deeply into our laws.”
“Florida leads the nation in using fees and fines to fund its criminal justice system — trapping offenders in a cycle of poverty, debt, and new offenses. With today’s action, the committee ties a former felon’s restoration of rights to this flawed and predatory system. This isn’t just an attempt to gut Amendment 4, but an attempt to ensure former offenders remain on the outskirts of our society.”
“To those lawmakers who are advancing this misguided bill: you may not respect the wishes of the people, but this is a democracy — and you must follow them. We the people will make sure of it.”