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DeSantis proposes 'law and order' legislation

The proposal would increase penalties for drug-related crimes that target children like "rainbow fentanyl."

MIAMI — Gov. Ron DeSantis on Thursday announced a major legislative proposal that would alter how crimes are handled in Florida.

The announcement came as the governor spoke at the Miami Police Benevolent Association along with Attorney General Ashley Moody and Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Mark Glass. 

The proposal would increase penalties for drug-related crimes that target children — like "rainbow fentanyl," require at least one life sentence for convicted child rapists, reform Florida's death penalty statute to ensure those convicted are "punished accordingly," strengthen bail laws by limiting who is eligible for release prior to first appearances and require law enforcement to report missing persons to the National Missing and Unidentified Person's System.

The governor hopes to push back against the abolishment of cash bail, prevent the early release of sex crimes and make it more feasible to administer ultimate justice to those facing the death penalty, the governor's office said in a press release.

"Other states endanger their citizens by making it easier to put criminals back on the street," DeSantis said. "Here in Florida, we will to continue to support and enact policies to protect our communities and keep Floridians safe. Florida will remain the law and order state."

Glass echoed the governor's sentiment, stating DeSantis "knows the importance of keeping families safe."

Through this proposal, DeSantis plans to main and further improve Florida's 50-year record low crime rate as "year-over-year crime in Florida is down nearly 10 percent." According to the governor's office, this "law and order" legislation will add to DeSantis' previous pro-public safety initiatives.

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