A bill that would put an end to riots in Florida is currently making it’s way to Governor Ron DeSantis’ desk to be signed into law.
The bill controversial, titled HB 1 was passed by the Senate Thursday night with a 23 to 17 vote.
Under the bill proposed in the wake of violent Black Lives Matter protests, local police will be able to challenge budgets, penalties against riots will be increased, and communities will be held responsible for poor riot control.
With the passage of HB 1, the Florida Legislature has answered Governor DeSantis’ call to uphold the rights of our state’s residents while protecting businesses and supporting our brave men and women in law enforcement. This legislation strikes the appropriate balance of safeguarding every Floridian’s constitutional right to peacefully assemble, while ensuring that those who hide behind peaceful protest to cause violence in our communities will be punished. Further, this legislation ensures that no community in the state engages in defunding of their police. The Governor looks forward to signing HB 1 into law,” the Governor’s office wrote.
Democratic Minority Leader, Sen. Gary Farmer called the bill the beginning of the end and many that oppose the bill say the broad language of the bill could hinder even nonviolent demonstrations.
“We’re mourning the beginning of the end, the beginning of the death of the First Amendment in the state of Florida.”
While the bill’s sponsor said the bill protects every right but the right to violence:
“The only reference to peaceful protest in this bill… protect it,” said the Zephyrhills Republican. “What this bill does not protect is violence.”
When asked about the bill, Governor DeSantis says he looks forward to signing it.
Those who oppose the bill are now turning to the courts in hopes that they will find it unconstitutional.