TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Florida felons will have to pay court-ordered financial obligations if they want their voting rights restored under a bill going to Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis.
The House passed the bill Friday after outcry from Democrats who say forcing felons who've completed their prison sentences and probation to also pay court fees and fines goes against the spirit of the constitutional amendment voters passed in November.
The amendment to restore voting rights for felons other than murderers and sex offenders was approved with 64.5 percent of the vote. But the language said felons must complete their sentences, and Republicans interpreted that to include restitution, court costs, fines and fees imposed by a judge at sentencing. Democrats say that creates a hurdle that voters didn't intend when they approved the amendment.