Greg Newburn, FAMM State Policy Director: firstname.lastname@example.org; 352.682.2542
TALLAHASSEE – Families Against Mandatory Minimums (FAMM) today applauded Florida Governor Rick Scott for signing CS/SB 228, which repeals the mandatory minimum sentence for aggravated assault with a firearm. The bill was sponsored by Representatives Neil Combee (R, Polk) and Katie Edwards (D, Plantation) in the House of Representatives, and Senators Aaron Bean (R, Jacksonville) and Rob Bradley (R, Fleming Island) in the Senate.
“This is a major victory for commonsense sentencing reform in Florida,” said Greg Newburn, FAMM’s State Policy Director. “Florida has repealed a mandatory minimum sentence for the first time in more than 20 years. The result is that fewer state residents will be subjected to excessive mandatory prison sentences, and taxpayers will be spared the expense of wasteful spending.
“We have been working for years for this commonsense fix with a broad and unique coalition of groups, including the NRA, sheriffs, police chiefs, and prosecutors. But, ultimately, what made this effort successful was the leadership of Representative Combee and Representative Edwards.” Newburn said, He also praised the significant contributions of Senators Aaron Bean and Rob Bradley.
Newburn noted the push for reform began after Governor Scott’s “Task Force on Citizen Safety and Protection” called on the legislature to review and fix unintended consequences of Florida’s 10-20-Life gun sentencing law. “Unintended consequences are inherent to mandatory minimums. No one anticipated 10-20-Life would be used to put citizens in prison for twenty years for warning shots, but that’s exactly what happened,” Newburn said.
According to Newburn, the bill takes effect July 1, 2016, but it does not impact anyone currently incarcerated.