The House passed the Senate bill by a party line vote of 67-42 Friday, the last day of the legislative session.
The bill now heads to Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis’ desk, and he has 15 days to decide whether to sign the bill, let it become law, or issue a veto. CNN has reached out to DeSantis’ office about whether he plans to sign the bill.
The bill, however, would restore voting rights only for individuals who have completed all terms of their sentence — which includes fully paying restitution and fines or fees ordered by the court, not including fees racked up after sentencing.
Financial obligations are met when they’re paid in full, the “termination” of the obligation by a victim or court, or completion of all community service hours, if the court converts the financial obligation to community service.
While Republicans have argued that the fees are part of an ex-felon’s sentence and are thus obligatory, Democrats and critics of the bill argue that the measure disenfranchises felons from voting and ignores the will of over 5 million Floridians who supported the statewide referendum.
“If restitution was ordered, restitution needs to be completed,” Grant said, according to the Sentinel. “Voters made it crystal clear victims have the right to receive restitution.”
The bill’s opponents disagreed, urging DeSantis to dismiss the bill.
Desmond Meade, a co-author of Amendment 4 and executive director of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, also called on DeSantis to forgo signing Friday’s bill in a statement to CNN.
“While today was disappointing, we have not lost sight of the fact that Amendment 4 is LAW,” he wrote.
“We are proud of the thousands of Returning Citizens from all over the state and legislators from both parties who worked to improve this legislation, but we are not there,” he added. “We call on the Governor to side with the 1.4 million Returning Citizens and insist for better legislation.”
Although the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida wouldn’t comment on potential litigation, the organization said it will “explore all options in order to ensure that the will of the people is carried out.”