Rep. of James Grant, R-Tampa, and answers to questions during a discussion about the house bill on voting rights restoration, April 23, 2019, on the floor of the house in Florida, Tallahassee. (Associated Press)
The Florida house of representatives on Wednesday passed a bill that would require former offenders to pay all court costs and costs in addition to restitution before he is eligible to vote.
The measure passed 71-45, with the vote along party lines.
The proposal by the main sponsor, state Rep. James Grant, R-Tampa, argued that the bill would not restore voting rights to those convicted of murder or crimes of sexual offenses, the — the clarification of a referendum on the issue, that the voters in November. He stressed that the requirement that ex-felons, to pay the debts, was not unconstitutional and is not discriminatory, the Tallahassee Democrat reported.
But the state Democrats-as well as some of the Democratic candidates for President — slammed the proposal as a form of “head tax” that discriminate against minorities and the poor. Poll taxes were historically used in the 1890s to bar an impoverished African-Americans in the Southern States of the vote, by paying a fee.
FLORIDA SENATE RACE BETWEEN SCOTT, NELSON IS EXPECTED TO BE COMPETITIVE, EXPENSIVE
The referendum was passed in November, marked the end of the disenfranchisement of more than 1 million felons who served their time, the Tallahassee Democrat reported.
U.S. Sens. Cory Booker, D-N. J., and Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., the search for the 2020 democratic presidential nomination, have slammed the bill, bringing the national attention, planning, Florida.
“This is a head tax,” Booker wrote on Wednesday.
“Enough with the racist and unconstitutional efforts to deny people the right to vote,” Sanders wrote on Wednesday. “If you are a US citizen, you need to be able to vote. At the end of the discussion.”
Sanders sparked an uproar on Monday when he said in a CNN town hall event, which should also be convicted criminals such as Boston marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev allowed to vote from prison. President Trump’s campaign fired back that Sanders’ was the item “deeply offensive.”
“Of the limb, and radicality of the 2020 Democrats knows no borders,” trump campaign press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany told Fox News. “Give detained terrorists, sex offenders, and to select the murderers, the law is an outrageous proposal, and the deeply insulting innocent victims in this country, some of whom lost their lives, and are forever disenfranchised, and to empower the very killers that in 2020, Democrats are looking for.”
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During the Florida House version of the bill provides that all court costs and compensation paid to, the Senate version calls for ex-felons, the only restitution, the Miami Herald reported. The Senate will advise as to which version, if either advance the Governor’s Desk.
Fox News’ Sally people and Alex Pappas and the Associated Press contributed to this report.