DeSantis vetoes Republican-backed criminal justice reform bill
DeSantis was previously critical of the First Step Act, a criminal justice reform bill that former President Donald Trump signed while in office.
Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis has vetoed a criminal justice reform bill that cleared the state legislature with nearly unanimous support.
The legislation would adjust the process by which a convict may expunge their record under state law. DeSantis did not explain his rationale when issuing the veto on Tuesday, The Hill reported.
DeSantis was previously critical of the First Step Act, a criminal justice reform bill that former President Donald Trump signed while in office. The 2018 law reduced mandatory minimum sentences and retroactively reduced some criminal sentences, resulting in the release of many incarcerated individuals.
The governor said he would seek the law's repeal if elected president.
While DeSantis did not explain his veto of the Florida bill, some of his advisors suspect the move may be an attempt to bolster his tough-on-crime record as he seeks the Republican nomination for president in 2024.
One advisor told NBC News that "Gov. DeSantis has always been a law and order leader. While well-intentioned, he seems worried about the ratification of a more lenient view on criminal records."
Ben Whedon is an editor and reporter for Just the News. Follow him on Twitter.