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Senator Stewart, District 17 — Press Release


June 27, 2024

CONTACT: Travis Flinn, 407-893-2422

Senator Stewart Disappointed by Veto of Bill to Assist Non-Violent Offenders

Orlando, FL – Following the Governor’s veto of HB 133, Senator Linda Stewart (D – Orlando) expressed her deep disappointment over the veto of the bill aimed at providing much-needed assistance to non-violent offenders. The bill on licensure for barbers and cosmetology specialists, unanimously supported by the legislature (31-0 Senate and 114-0 House), would have prevented the Florida Board of Cosmetology from using history of non-violent incarceration for grounds of denial of licensing and offered crucial support and opportunities for rehabilitation, helping individuals reintegrate into society and reduce recidivism rates.


“I am extremely disappointed by the governor’s decision to veto this bill and deny former non-violent offenders, who have done their time, the opportunity to more easily obtain a license in barbering or cosmetology. This is about second chances,” said Stewart.


The bill would have prevented the Board of Cosmetology from reviewing certain records of criminal history that took place more than three years before the date of the application for the license. The bill also contained a provision stating that if an individual did commit an offense within the three year period that the board would have ability to deny based on earlier offenses. Finally the bill would have required the boards to approve educational program credits offered to inmates in a correctional institution or facility for purposes of satisfying training requirements for a license


“It is unjust that continue to punish people for the mistakes made in their past and prevent them from earning a living in the future. This bill could have been vital to someone’s future livelihood and helped to reduce recidivism,” said Stewart.


The exemption of records considered by the board in HB 133 was drafted to only apply to convictions of specific non-violent crimes. Persons with convictions relating to Sexual Predators as defined in statute 775.21 (4) (a)1 and Forcible Felonies as defined in statute 776.08  have exceptions to the bill and may be grounds for the denial of an application.