TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has vetoed Senate Bill 274 and Senate Bill 166. Together, they would have expunged the nonjudicial arrest records of children who have successfully completed diversion programs for criminal offenses and provide for confidentiality of related arrest records exemption, respectively. This option was allowed for children who were charged with a first offense misdemeanor, but Senate Bill 274 would have expanded it to include other charges. Senate Bill 166 would have provided for a public records exemption for nonjudicial arrest records.
This legislation had the support of the Florida No Place for a Child coalition. The following is a statement from Carrie Boyd, Policy Director for the SPLC Action Fund.
“These bills, which passed unanimously through both chambers, would have shown that we can still come together across the political spectrum and recognize that children are different and shouldn’t be treated like adults. But, Governor DeSantis chose to ignore the will of both parties and veto this common sense legislation. It serves no purpose to have children go into adulthood with criminal records if they can successfully complete diversion programs. We hope Governor DeSantis and future leaders come to recognize the mistake of this veto.”
For a full list of organizations involved in the No Place for a Child coalition, go to https://www.noplaceforachild.com/about-us.