Lawmakers want to ditch criminal justice cost estimates

For nearly a decade, the state’s Legislative Research Council (LRC) has produced prison-jail cost estimates for bills that would impact the inmate population.

This session, lawmakers will be asked to repeal the law that requires them.

At least one of the law’s initial backers says that’s a bad idea for taxpayers.

House Bill 1003, the third bill on the House of Representatives docket for the 2023 session, was filed on behalf of the Legislature’s Executive Board. The bill includes an emergency clause, which means it would take effect immediately, rather than on the typical post-session enactment date of July 1. 

The bill comes on the heels of a report by the LRC that says it lacks the data sources and time it needs to produce reliable cost estimates, and that some of its previous estimates have proven wildly inaccurate. 

“You never get any good information out of them. If you’re

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Martha’s Vineyard migrant flight lawsuit could cost Florida $1 million

TALLAHASSEE — Florida has agreed to pay up to $1 million to two law firms to defend it following Gov. Ron DeSantis’ controversial decision last summer to relocate nearly 50 Venezuelan migrants from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. 

So far, the state has paid nearly $112,000 to the firms Consovoy McCarthy and Campbell Conroy & O’Neil to represent DeSantis and other state officials in a class action lawsuit filed in Boston by attorneys representing the migrants. 

This is on top of the nearly $1.6 million paid to Destin, Fla.-based aviation firm Vertol Systems Company, which the state contracted for the migrant flights.

Post-flights overview:Revisiting DeSantis, Martha’s Vineyard, and the migrant flight controversy

Administration’s role on flights:Text messages reveal DeSantis officials worked closely for weeks on Venezuelan migrant flights

When combined, it represents a cost of around $35,000 for each migrant relocated through the program.

The legal contracts were

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