The 2021 Florida legislative session came to an end Friday with a flurry bills being passed by lawmakers.
One of the bills passed in the final days was on election reform. The bill was a priority for Governor Ron DeSantis.
Democrat State Representative Omari Hardy (District 88) told Michael Williams on To The Point that the bill was unnecessary.
"The governor boosted about how smoothly we ran our elections here in Florida as the law is currently written so according to the governor's own words this legislation was not needed," Hardy said. "Republicans feel that they can shave points off the electorate in a way it affects democrats more than it affects republicans. We saw a bill that made it more difficult to access the ballot and made it more difficult and costly for supervisor of elections to administer elections. The sole purpose of this is to engage in electoral point shaving."
Republican State Representative Toby Overdorf (District 83) said the bill came from lessons learned from the 2020 election.
"We have some of the best voter access across the entire country. Our voting ability in the state of Florida is a lot better than many other states around our country," Overdorf said. "So far we are doing that and we are trying to improve upon that."
Governor DeSantis said Friday he is leaning towards signing the police reform bill that passed unanimously this week.
Both Overdorf and Hardy said the bill was a collaborative effort.
"I'm very proud of this legislation and not just the legislation itself but how the legislation was formed. We worked across the aisle," Overdorf said.
Meanwhile, Hardy says more work needs to be done but this is a good first step.
"I think it is an incremental step forward. It is a compromise, both sides came together and gave some. It is not enough. It is not the transformational change that my constituents and many of our constituents sent us to Tallahassee to pursue but it is something that we will take for now and after the governor signs it we will resume the good fight to reform policing in a meaningful way," Hardy said.
The bills will now be sent to the governor to be signed.