State Senator Randolph Bracy (D-Ocoee), with the support of Senate President Bill Galvano (R-Bradenton), is pleased to announce a partnership between the Florida Senate and Florida State University’s College of Criminology & Criminal Justice to analyze racial and ethnic impacts of proposed legislation. The new partnership will enable Senators vetting proposed legislation to consider evidence-based racial and ethnic impact data, alongside currently available data on other impacts associated with proposed legislation.
Currently, a formal bill analysis is produced by Senate Professional Committee Staff each time a bill receives a hearing in a Senate Committee. The analysis provides broader context on the wide-ranging impacts of a particular bill, addressing topics including fiscal, private sector and constitutional impacts, among others. Senator Bracy approached President Galvano with a proposal for these bill analyses to also include a “Racial and Ethnic Impact Statement” that would specify whether the bill poses a disproportionate impact on a particular racial or ethnic group, and offer empirical data on the extent of that impact. The new partnership with Florida State University’s College of Criminology & Criminal Justice will provide Senate Professional Committee Staff with the evidence-based information needed to include this critical information in their analysis of specific legislation related to criminal justice policy.
Senator Bracy, whose diverse Orange County district encompasses various ethnic and minority populations, noted the gravity of such considerations for constituents who routinely face systemic disadvantages as a result of their race or ethnicity:
“The publication of such information represents a key step toward delineating the extent of any racial inequality or bias perpetuated by the policies we consider as a legislative body. At present, our process for vetting legislation allows us to weigh the monetary costs and benefits of each proposal at hand, often emphasizing a bill’s fiscal impact from the very onset of the legislative process. The consideration of data that highlights a bill’s civic, cultural, and social impact, not only encourages fairness, but also renders a more comprehensive and conscientious legislative vetting process.
“I applaud President Galvano for recognizing the importance of this issue and helping to make it a reality. This historic move will go a long way toward promoting equality among individuals of all races and ethnicities in our great State of Florida.”