For Immediate Release
Contact: Greg Newburn, FAMM State Policy Director
FAMM Hails Drug Sentencing Reform Bill
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – FAMM today praised the introduction of legislation designed to reform Florida’s sentencing laws. HB 731, introduced by Representative Katie Edwards (D, Plantation), builds on sentencing reform legislation Representative Edwards passed in 2014.
The bill raises trafficking thresholds for certain drugs, reduces mandatory sentences for certain drug trafficking offenses, and allows departures from mandatory minimum sentences for lower-level drug offenses. The bill also increases the “sentencing multiplier” for drug trafficking offenses.
The bill drew praise from advocacy groups across the ideological spectrum, including Families Against Mandatory Minimums. “Mandatory minimum sentences don’t deter drug abuse or drug trafficking,” said Greg Newburn, FAMM’s State Policy Director. “It’s long past time Florida adopted these common sense reforms, and Representative Edwards should be commended for her continued leadership on this issue,” Newburn added.
Newburn further noted the bill resembles recent reforms in other states. “Dozens of states – including Georgia, South Carolina, and Mississippi – have passed similar drug reforms in recent years, and the result is the same everywhere: lower crime, smaller prison populations, and savings for taxpayers. Florida has a lot of catching up to do, and this bill is a good start,” Newburn said.
FAMM is a national organization celebrating its 26th year advocating for sentencing reform. For more information on HB 731, please contact Greg Newburn at 352.682.2542, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.