Miami-Dade Legislative Item
File Number: 111871
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File Number: 111871 File Type: Resolution Status: Adopted
Version: 0 Reference: R-738-11 Control: County Commission
File Name: OPPOSE BAILBOND LEGISLATION PLACING RESTRICTIONS ON PRETRIAL Introduced: 9/6/2011
Requester: NONE Cost: Final Action: 9/20/2011
Agenda Date: 9/20/2011 Agenda Item Number: 11A2
Notes: Title: RESOLUTION OPPOSING STATE BAILBOND LEGISLATION THAT WOULD PLACE ARBITRARY STATUTORY RESTRICTIONS ON PRETRIAL SERVICES PROGRAMS; IDENTIFYING DEFEAT OF SUCH BAILBOND BILLS AS A CRITICAL PRIORITY FOR THE 2012 SESSION
Indexes: LEGISLATURE
Sponsors: Sally A. Heyman, Prime Sponsor
Sunset Provision: No Effective Date: Expiration Date:
Registered Lobbyist: None Listed


Legislative History

Acting Body Date Agenda Item Action Sent To Due Date Returned Pass/Fail

Board of County Commissioners 9/20/2011 11A2 Adopted P

County Attorney 9/8/2011 Assigned Jess M. McCarty

Legislative Text


TITLE
RESOLUTION OPPOSING STATE BAILBOND LEGISLATION THAT WOULD PLACE ARBITRARY STATUTORY RESTRICTIONS ON PRETRIAL SERVICES PROGRAMS; IDENTIFYING DEFEAT OF SUCH BAILBOND BILLS AS A CRITICAL PRIORITY FOR THE 2012 SESSION

BODY
WHEREAS, during the 2010 session, the Florida Legislature considered a pair of bills, SB 782 by Senator John Thrasher (R – Jacksonville) & HB 445 by Representative Chris Dorworth (R – Heathrow), that would have favored the bailbond industry over pretrial supervision and pretrial services programs by placing arbitrary statutory restrictions on pretrial programs; and
WHEREAS, these bills would have prohibited pretrial programs from charging defendants the cost of pretrial services including ankle bracelets, leaving these costs with law-abiding taxpayers rather than charging them to defendants as “user fees”; and
WHEREAS, as initially filed, SB 782 & HB 445 would have substantially limited defendants who qualified for pretrial services to only defendants who meet all of the following criteria:
a. Are indigent,
b. Have not failed to appear at any court within the preceding 12 months,
c. Have no prior convictions involving violence,
d. Have not been charged with a capital, life or first degree felony,
e. Are not on probation for another charge, and
f. Are not facing charges for another crime anywhere in the state; and
WHEREAS, SB 782 & HB 445 were amended over the course of the 2010 session, and a coalition of sheriffs, judges, prosecutors and counties eventually were successful at defeating SB 782 & HB 445; and
WHEREAS, the bailbond industry returned with similar bills for the 2011 session, SB 372 and SB 1398 by Senator Ellyn Bogdanoff (R – Fort Lauderdale) and HB 1379 by Representative Dorworth; and
WHEREAS, a coalition of sheriffs, judges, prosecutors and counties again were successful at defeating bailbond legislation during the 2011 session; and
WHEREAS, the bailbond industry will likely return again for the 2012 session pursuing bailbond bills at the expense of pretrial services programs; and
WHEREAS, pretrial services programs have a proven track record of treating the root problems of crime by treating drug addiction and mental health issues, while bailbonds are simply financial contracts to appear in court at specified times; and
WHEREAS, study after study has shown that pretrial services programs are far more effective than bailbonds at ensuring public safety and decreasing the likelihood of defendants reoffending; and
WHEREAS, bills that would arbitrarily restrict pretrial supervision and pretrial services programs would result in wasteful government spending by holding defendants in jails that could be placed on pretrial services more safely, more cost effectively and with better outcomes, all for the purpose of favoring the bailbond industry,
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA, that this Board:
Section 1. Opposes bailbond legislation that would place arbitrary, statutory restrictions on pretrial services programs.
Section 2. Identifies the defeat of such legislation as a County critical priority for the 2012 state legislative session.
Section 3. Directs the Clerk of the Board to transmit a certified copy of this resolution to the Governor, Senate President, House Speaker, the Chair and Members of the Miami-Dade County State Legislative Delegation and the Chair and Members of the Senate Criminal Justice Committee and the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee.
Section 4. Directs the County's state lobbyists to advocate against the passage of the legislation as set forth in Section 1 above, and authorizes and directs the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs to include this item in the 2012 State Legislative Package as a critical priority.



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