Lake City Republican Rep. Elizabeth Porter’s House Bill 57 proposes extending current “crimes evidencing prejudice” protections to law enforcement and correctional officers.
A companion bill, SB 70, has been filed in the Senate by Sen. Rene Garcia.
The bills in the House and Senate both propose enhanced penalties for crimes committed against police officers, correctional officers, and first responders.
Such protections already exist in statute regarding hate crimes against people for reasons of race, color, ancestry, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, homeless status, or advanced age; however, these would be the first employment related protections.
First degree misdemeanors, under the current law, are classified as third degree felonies. First degree felonies, meanwhile, are reclassified as felonies bearing a life sentence.