The Florida House of Representatives Tuesday unanimously passed SB 1044, reforming Florida’s Contraband Forfeiture Act, sending the legislation to Republican Gov. Rick Scott’s desk for a signature. Last week the Senate passed the legislation, sponsored by Sen. Jeff Brandes, in a 38–0 vote
The bill is among the toughest reforms in the country, requiring an arrest in most cases before police can seize a citizen’s property and imposing penalties on police departments that abuse the power.
The following statement from a policy expert at The Heartland Institute – a free-market think tank – may be used for attribution. For more comments, refer to the contact information below. To book a Heartland guest on your program, please contact Director of Communications Jim Lakely at [email protected] and 312/377-4000.
“Florida legislators should be applauded for their efforts to protect personal property rights. Requiring an arrest before personal assets are seized ensures individual due process, while keeping seizures available as a tool for law enforcement when a crime is committed. Assets should be seized only for criminal activity, and law enforcement should not have incentives to seize any more property than is necessary and justified.”
Senior Policy Analyst
The Heartland Institute
The Heartland Institute is a 32-year-old national nonprofit organization headquartered in Arlington Heights, Illinois. Its mission is to discover, develop, and promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems. For more information, visit our Web site or call 312/377-4000.