Florida Senate Passes Court Fee Payment Requirement for Felons Who Want to Vote

The Florida Senate passed a bill Thursday that would require felons to pay all “court-ordered restitution, fees, fines and court costs” before being able to vote, the Associated Press reports. The bill, which passed 22-17, comes after voters approved a constitutional amendment late last year restoring the voting rights of all felons who have completed their sentence, except those who committed murder or a felony sex offense. While Republicans argued that paying fees was a necessary part of completing a sentence, Democrats said the requirement to pay those costs would be a hurdle that the constitutional amendment did not intend. According to the Miami Herald, the Senate also passed an amendment for the bill on Thursday evening allowing judges to either waive the costs or convert the fines and other feeds into community service hours. The bill will now go back to the state’s House.