Despite unanimous approval from both chambers of the Florida legislature, Gov. Ron DeSantis has vetoed a bill that would have scrubbed the criminal records of minors who complete a behavioral program. The veto surprised lawmakers from both parties who expected the bill to be easily approved. “I am, frankly, dumbfounded,” State Sen. Annette Taddeo, a Democrat, told the Miami Herald. In a letter explaining his decision, DeSantis said he had “concerns that the unfettered ability to expunge serious felonies, including sexual battery, from a juvenile’s record may have negative impacts on public safety.” Lawmakers said DeSantis never raised those concerns during the 60-day legislative session, in which both parties passed the bill.
State Sen. Keith Perry, a Republican co-sponsor, said he found the governor’s stance “legitimate” and would work with him to pass the bill next year.