Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Play

The latest on the PRO Act, which could bring major changes to labor law, especially in "right-to-work" states; and COVID spikes result in new mandates.

Play

Travel restrictions are extended as Delta variant surges; some public-sector employers will mandate vaccines; President Biden says long-haul COVID could be considered a disability; and western wildfires rage.

Study: Voter Restoration Would Add $365 Million to FL Economy

Play

Friday, May 18, 2018   

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – A new study says restoring the voting rights of former felons would provide a big boost to Florida's economy.

The study by the Washington Economics Group examines the financial impact of the Voter Restoration Amendment, or Amendment 4, which will appear on the November ballot. It finds that by restoring voting rights to people who've served their time as outlined in the amendment, the annual economic impact would be $365 million.

J. Antonio Villamil, a senior advisor at the Washington Economics Group, says he used the State of Florida's own corrections data for his findings.

"On a very conservative, modest basis, to be able to at least gain some employment, we found that 1,300 new jobs will be supported annually in the state," says Villamil.

Gov. Rick Scott and state Cabinet officials are challenging changes to Florida's current voting-rights restoration process, which requires waiting five to seven years before a request can be made. Scott has said people who've been in prison should have to demonstrate they can stay out of trouble before they can vote again.

The report commissioned by the Alliance for Safety and Justice claims people who have their voting eligibility restored will have an easier time getting jobs, which increases their earning power and disposable income, in turn giving back to Florida's economy.

Villamil says the benefits are twofold.

"There are really two types of impacts,” says Villamil. “One is the decreasing recidivism, which is pretty solid evidence; and secondly, some decreases in the employment penalty, because of the fact that their civil rights in voting have been restored."

Villamil adds other studies by the Office of Offender Review and the Florida Parole Commission also show economic benefits when people regain their voting rights, because they're far less likely to re-offend and re-enter the justice system.

A poll conducted by North Star Opinion Research and EMC Research found nearly three-quarters of Florida voters support Amendment 4.


get more stories like this via email

Smoke from the Bootleg fire in southern Oregon is blowing across Idaho and as far east as New York. (National Interagency Fire Center/Flickr)

Environment

BOISE, Idaho -- Wildfires are affecting air quality across the West, bringing hidden dangers in smoke that can harm people's health. The Boise-based …


Social Issues

DENVER -- The days of exponentially high increases in health-insurance costs may finally be in the rearview mirror. The Colorado Division of …

Social Issues

DES MOINES, Iowa -- Cultural institutions in the U.S. are facing scrutiny to be more accessible and inclusive. The organization in charge of Iowa's …


Electrifying heat pumps are key to lowering the carbon cost of buildings. (SkyLine/Adobe Stock)

Environment

BELLINGHAM, Wash. -- Last month's deadly heat wave in the Northwest underscored the need to reduce carbon emissions, but advocates want to ensure low-…

Social Issues

MINOT, N.D. -- Many arguments are being floated about legislation before Congress that would bring big changes to U.S. labor laws. The bill has its …

Studies show Medicaid expansion could reduce costs for Missouri's health-care system as a whole, by getting more patients preventive care, which is less expensive than emergency care. (torwaiphoto/Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- Health-care advocates called on Missouri lawmakers to allocate funds for Medicaid expansion right away, after the state …

Social Issues

AUGUSTA, Maine -- School meals in Maine will be free for all students again this year and into the future, but parents are being urged to fill out …

Environment

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A report outlines how federal efforts to bring solar energy to one in four American households could bring clean energy to …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021