Bill on felons going to Gov. Scott

What has happened here is that the governor and legislator separated the civil rights voting issue from the professional licenses for two reasons. First and foremost; at this moment there are over 250,000 felons in custody or under parole. This is not counting the ones that are no longer under the custody of the Department of Corrections. That makes for one incredibly big single issue voting bloc if it was every galvanized by a charismatic figure.
The legislature and governor is treating the Department of Corrections as a cash cow for the general revenue fund and ex-offenders without professional licenses represent a loss of potential income to the general fund. Another point that escapes attention is that ex-offenders with professional licenses can be hired at lower than the going wages for their counterparts with professional wages because of their situation.
Many may think this is a pipe dream but look at the cash collected by the Department of Corrections for the state of Florida in 2010.

Local Funds
Collections:
Cost of Supervision Fees………………………$22,353,861
Restitution, Fines and Court Costs……………..$50,166,362
Subsistence, and other Court-Ordered Payments……$18,184,408
Inmate Banking:
Deposits…………………………………….$112,812,931
Disbursements………………………………..$114,397,489
Total Assets…………………………………..$14,129,246
Other Activity:
Revenue from Canteen Operations …………………$31,382,286
Inmate Telephone Commissions……………………..$5,294,749

In years gone by, Canteen operations and Inmate Telephone Commissions have been a source of scandals for the department of corrections. The scope of it was enormous and the phone ripoffs reached special comment in the Wall Street Journal. We only have to look to the current scandal with a former secretary of the Department of corrections that is still in the federal courts.
Another point that escapes public attention is the the Canteen Operations and Inmate Telephone Commissions used to fund addiction recovery programs and education. However, the legislature cut that funding for education and recovery programs and diverted it to the legislative slush fund better known and the general revenue.
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Article begins here:
Bill on felons going to Gov. Scott

The Associated Press

Published: Thursday, May 12, 2011 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, May 11, 2011 at 2:10 p.m.

The Florida Senate has approved a modified bill that aimed to take occupational licenses out of the civil rights denied to ex-convicts.

The bill (SB 146) was approved unanimously last Wednesday. It was previously approved by the House and now goes to Gov. Rick Scott.

The bill’s language had been amended to say that felons still can be denied licenses if their crime was a felony or first-degree misdemeanor related to the occupation for which they’re applying for a license.

Gov. Scott and the Florida Cabinet last month ended the automatic restoration of voting and other civil rights to nonviolent felons once their sentences are up

But Attorney General Pam Bondi agreed with advocates that occupational licenses generally should not be denied to former inmates who have completed their sentences.

http://www.gainesville.com/article/20110512/WIRE/110519904

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