Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s veto of a bill to divert nonviolent drug offenders from prison to rehab programs was “soft on sense,” says Orlando Sentinel columnist Scott Maxwell. The idea is to take the most promising inmates — nonviolent offenders with good behavior, and who prison officials believe are ready for reform — and move them out of prison and into rehab. The goal is to get inmates whose primary problem is addiction, off drugs. That way we don’t arrest and imprison them again and again.
The idea was so popular it got overwhelming legislative support, including a rare unanimous Senate vote. Business groups and government watchdogs praised the move. Scott’s veto baffled fellow Republicans, Maxwell said, because his veto message largely ignored the overall goal of the bill — reducing crime and saving taxpayers money. Maxwell says Scott should approve the measure if the legislature passes it again.