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Governor Ron DeSantis Signs Third Consecutive Anti-Crime, Pro-Public Safety Legislative Package

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TITUSVILLE, Fla. — Today, Governor Ron DeSantis signed into law his third consecutive anti-crime, pro-public safety legislative package. The bills enacted by the Governor strengthen pre-trial detention and push back against “bail reform” efforts that have made other states significantly less safe, increase sentences for drug traffickers that target children, and subject child rapists to the death penalty. Last month, Governor DeSantis also signed legislation that reforms Florida’s death penalty statutes to ensure justice in capital cases.
“Florida is a law-and-order state with a 50-year record low crime rate and double-digit year-over-year decreases in murder, burglary, and overall crime,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “For three consecutive legislative sessions we have enacted tough-on-crime policies, and this year we are continuing to implement measures to protect our communities and keep Florida safe, with a particular emphasis on keeping criminals in jail and throwing the book at pedophiles.”

Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody speaks at Governor Ron DeSantis press conference. Photo by J Willie David, III / Florida National News

“In Florida, we stand for the rule of law, we back our blue, and we treat offenders as they should be treated — not as victims, but as criminals who deserve to be behind bars,” said Attorney General Ashley Moody.“That’s one of the reasons why we are the fastest growing state in the nation. I am grateful for Governor DeSantis’ strong leadership in advocating for, and signing, new laws that go after fentanyl traffickers and keep violent and repeat offenders behind bars to protect Floridians and our millions of visitors.”
Governor DeSantis is protecting Floridians from the disastrous “bail reforms” being pushed by liberal politicians and prosecutors in high-crime jurisdictions throughout the country by signing HB 1627, legislation which:
  • Requires the Florida Supreme Court to develop a uniform statewide bond schedule by the end of the year;
  • Prohibits the chief judge of a judicial circuit from setting a lower bond amount for a criminal offense than the uniform statewide bond schedule;
  • Authorizes the chief judge of a judicial circuit to set a higher bond amount for a criminal offense than the uniform statewide bond schedule;
  • Prohibits a person from being released prior to his or her first appearance if he or she has been arrested for a particularly violent or heinous crime;
  • Authorizes a court to revoke pretrial release and order pretrial detention if a defendant violates a condition of pretrial release;
  • Adds manslaughter while driving and boating under the influence, trafficking fentanyl, extortion, and written threats to kill to the list of “dangerous crimes”;
  • Prohibits a court from granting nonmonetary pretrial release at a first appearance hearing if a defendant is arrested for a dangerous crime and the court determines there is probable cause to believe the defendant committed the offense;
  • Requires a state attorney, or a court on its own motion, to motion for pretrial detention if a defendant is arrested for a dangerous crime that is a capital felony, a life felony, or a first-degree felony and the court determines there is probable cause to believe that the defendant committed the offense;
  • Requires a court to order pretrial detention of a defendant who is arrested for a dangerous crime if the court finds a substantial probability that the defendant committed the offense and that no conditions of release or bail will reasonably protect the community from risk of physical harm; and
  • Authorizes any party to motion for reconsideration of pretrial detention if an alleged criminal is granted pretrial release and then new information comes to light suggesting pretrial detention is warranted.
Governor DeSantis is taking action to protect Florida’s vulnerable children from the dangers posed by “rainbow fentanyl” by signing HB 1359 which imposes additional penalties on fentanyl and other drug related crimes when the drug looks like a piece of candy which targets children, specifically by:
  • Making those who traffic such substances eligible for a life sentence and imposing a minimum 25 year sentence and a $1 million penalty; and
  • Making it a first-degree felony to possess, sell, or manufacture fentanyl and other controlled substances that resemble candy.
Governor DeSantis also signed HB 1297 to impose the death penalty for those pedophiles who commit sexual battery against children under the age of 12. The Governor is prepared to take this law all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court to overrule judicial precedents which have unjustly shielded child rapists from the death penalty and denied victims and their loved ones the opportunity to pursue ultimate justice against these most heinous criminals.
This legislation signed today is in addition to Governor DeSantis’ previous pro-public safety initiatives, including hallmark anti-rioting legislation, the strongest law enforcement recruitment and support initiative in the nation, and a crackdown on opioid dealers and drug traffickers.

Florida

Governor Ron DeSantis Makes Eight Judicial Appointments

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (FNN) – Beasley has worked as a Litigation Attorney for Garganese, Weiss, D’Agresta & Salzman, P.A. since 2022. Previously, he served as the Director of Legal Services for the Hillsborough Regional Transit. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Central Florida and his juris doctor from Florida A&M University. Beasley fills the judicial vacancy created by the resignation of Judge Bain.

Mark Skipper, of Maitland, to serve as Judge on the Orange County Court

Skipper has worked as the Sole Practitioner for the Law Office of Mark A Skipper P.A. since 2007. Previously, he served as a Senior Attorney for the Florida Department of Children and Families. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida and his juris doctor from Nova Southeastern University. Skipper fills the judicial vacancy created by the elevation of Judge Sandor.

Celia Dorn, of Kissimmee, to serve as Judge on the Osceola County Court

Dorn has worked as a Staff Attorney for Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, LLP since 2021. Previously, she was an Assistant City Attorney for the City of Kissimmee. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Wake Forest University and her juris doctor from the University of Florida. Dorn fills the judicial vacancy created by the elevation of Judge Arendas.

Juna Pulayya, of St. Cloud, to serve as Judge on the Osceola County Court

Pulayya has served as a General Magistrate for the Ninth Judicial Circuit since 2022. Previously, he was an Attorney for JMP Law, P.A. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida and his juris doctor from Florida A&M University. Pulayya fills the judicial vacancy created by the elevation of Judge Epperson.

Carlos Gamez, of Coral Gables, to serve as Judge on the Eleventh Judicial Circuit Court

Gamez has served as a County Court Judge for Miami-Dade County since 2020. Previously, he served as an Assistant State Attorney in the Eleventh Judicial Circuit. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Ohio State University and his juris doctor from the University of Miami. Gamez fills the judicial vacancy created by the resignation of Judge Aponte.

Christine Hernandez, of Miami, to serve as Judge on the Eleventh Judicial Circuit Court


Hernandez has served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of Florida since 2018. Previously, she served as an Assistant State Attorney in the Eleventh Judicial Circuit. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Fordham University and her juris doctor from the University of Miami. Hernandez fills the judicial vacancy created by the resignation of Judge Bailey.

Jennifer Hochstadt, of Aventura, to serve as Judge on the Miami-Dade County Court

Hochstadt has served as an Assistant County Attorney in the Miami-Dade County Attorney’s Office since 2015. Previously, she was a Law Clerk for United States District Court Judge Martinez in the Southern District of Florida. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University and her juris doctor from the University of Miami. Hochstadt fills the judicial vacancy created by the elevation of Judge González-Marqués.

Jason Reding Quiñones, of Coral Gables, to serve as Judge on the Miami-Dade County Court

Quiñones has served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of Florida since 2018. Previously, he served as an Attorney Advisor for the U.S. Department of Justice’s National Security Division. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida and his juris doctor from Florida International University. Quiñones fills the judicial vacancy created by the elevation of Judge Bandín.

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Governor Ron DeSantis Sends Additional Florida National Guard and Florida State Guard to Assist Texas

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. Today, Governor Ron DeSantis announced that Florida is deploying members of the Florida National Guard (FLNG) and members of the Florida State Guard will be deployed to assist Texas in its efforts to stop the invasion at the southern border. Florida is offering up to a battalion of National Guard members (approximately 1,000 soldiers) to Texas, who will be deployed based on Texas’ needs. For more information about the announcement, click here.

These deployments are in addition to the more than 90 officers from the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP), Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) that are currently deployed to the border. Additional law enforcement resources are standing by and ready to deploy as requested by Texas state officials. In December, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) data showed that more than 302,000 illegal immigrants were encountered attempting to cross the southern border – the highest month ever recorded.

“States have every right to defend their sovereignty and we are pleased to increase our support to Texas as the Lone Star State works to stop the invasion across the border,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “Our reinforcements will help Texas to add additional barriers, including razor wire along the border. We don’t have a country if we don’t have a border.”

“This is not a new mission for us. For several years we have supported border security missions in Texas, to include both federal and state deployments,” said Major General John D. Haas, The Adjutant General of Florida. “Last spring the Florida National Guard was one of the first in the nation to deploy rotations of soldiers to support Operation Lone Star in Texas, and we have proudly and readily supported our own state’s efforts in similar roles here in Florida.”

“The Florida State Guard is prepared to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with state agency partners in direct support of our brothers and sisters in Texas grappling with an unprecedented surge of illegal immigration along their border,” said Florida State Guard Director Mark Thieme. “The Florida State Guard is postured to deliver rapid emergency response, public safety operations and humanitarian assistance — wherever the need arises.”

Since 2021, Florida has provided direct law enforcement and military assistance to Texas, including FLNG, which supported the Texas Military Department through mission sets including static observation points, roving patrols and engineer assistance with obstacle improvement. FHP has made contact with nearly 150,000 illegal aliens, conducted over 27,000 traffic stops, resulting in 2,102 Human Smuggling or Human Trafficking charges with 2,278 overall arrests.

FDLE has sent rotations of officers to assist the Texas Department of Public Safety with arrests of violent felony suspects including gang members. Suspects were arrested on various Texas state charges including human smuggling, burglary, firearms, smuggling of persons, smuggling of persons with a firearm, child endangerment, escape from federal custody and possession of controlled substance. FWC has deployed a total of 540 FWC personnel, 525 four-wheel drive patrol trucks and 24 vessels.

In Fiscal Year 2023, CBP recorded 2.5 million encounters – surpassing last year’s record. This includes 169 illegal immigrants on the terror watch list attempting to cross the southern border. Since Biden took office, more than 10 million illegal immigrants have crossed the border, including more than 1.7 million known gotaways. In December alone, roughly 260 million lethal doses of fentanyl were seized at the border.

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Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ 2024 State of the State Address

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (FNN) – Florida Governor Ron DeSantis delivered his State of the State address to the joint legislative session from the Florida House of Representatives chamber in Tallahassee.

Watch the full address here.

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