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.”
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