Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Florida Pretrial Release Legislation

The Florida legislative session has ended but not the fight! Thanks to every bail agent, friend and advocate in Florida and across the country, who stepped up, made calls, sent e-mails, reached out to local media and went the extra mile for our pretrial release legislation! The private surety bail industry in Florida proposed good language that would have restricted eligibility for release under Florida's taxpayer-funded pretrial release programs. But the legislation ultimately failed to pass.

A big thanks to Representative Chris Dorworth, Representative Adam Fetterman and Senator John Thrasher for their hard work and commitment to protecting Florida taxpayers' dollars and public safety.

We learned much during this past legislative session. We learned that those that support taxpayer-funded pretrial release programs will misuse statistics, misstate what the bills do and generally resort to whatever tactics are necessary to mislead lawmakers and the public in protecting their turf.

We also learned that we have some strong friends and allies.

But most importantly, we learned that our cause is a good cause. There was not one thing said that undermined our basic premise that bail is more effective than taxpayer-funded pretrial release and that the private surety bail industry saves taxpayers millions of dollars each year. Given that our opponents were forced to use misleading statements and statistics underscores this fact.

We are excited about the 2011 legislative session and we will be even more prepared to get new bills passed. So stay engaged in the effort as we move forward!

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