The law would require stiffer sentences and electronic monitoring for Florida's sex offenders. The bill named for nine-year-old Jessica Lunsford was approved by lawmakers on Friday. Tuesday morning, the bill’s sponsors planned to personally deliver it to the governor’s office.
Rep. Charlie Dean, (R) Citrus County, says, "We were ready to go; we wanted to see this thing hit the ground running."
Just after 10 a.m., a disappointed Charlie Dean, one of two main sponsors, says he was told the governor's office wasn’t ready to receive the bill just yet.
Rep. Everett Rice, (R) Pinellas County, says, "I think the governor will sign it as soon as he gets it, in spite of what his staff says."
The bill physically resided in the speaker’s office, signed by both presiding officers and ready to go. Meanwhile, Jeb Bush was telling reporters he was anxious to sign the bill.
Jeb Bush says, "It’s an important element of a very strong set of laws and regulations that we have related to sexual predators."
With an apparent contradiction, we called the governor’s press office. A short time later the bill was hand carried by a staff member of the House clerk's office, with Rep. Dean and Rice in tow.
The governor’s expected to take about five days to review and then sign this legislation, and then once it’s signed, all of these kids and thousands of other kids across Florida will be safer.
Nothing was lost in the bureaucratic snafu because the stiffer penalties and electronic monitoring don’t begin until July 1 anyway.
The governor has seven days to decide if he will sign the bill, veto it or let it become law without his signature. Bush has already said he will sign the Lunsford Act, the only question now is when.
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