Rep. Republican. Alex Andrade is sponsoring seven bills in the upcoming 2022 legislative session, including a landmark proposal that would reform Florida’s cash bond process.
Under current law, fines and court costs are levied on a person’s bail payment. For example, if a person is arrested and a loved one posts bond, that loved one may lose some – if not all – payment of court-ordered fines and costs.
State law, however, makes a unique exception for bonded slaves. Unlike the public, they are entitled to a full refund.
A lawyer and University of Florida graduate, Andrade described the legal exclusion as “unfair, anti-competitive and anti-consumer.” Additionally, he believes the current process disproportionately hurts Florida’s poorest families.
Andrade’s proposal (HB 97) would largely prohibit courts from withholding fees from bail payments, reversing a status quo he describes as an “injustice.”
“I think it’s just a fundamentally flawed part of our criminal justice system that can be fixed,” the Pensacola lawmaker told Florida Politics.
Entering its fourth session, Andrade is also the bearer of a proposal (HB 947) that would require doctors and insurance companies to share prescription costs with consumers in advance.
The bill, Andrade said, would add transparency to the prescribing process and give consumers the ability to research alternatives. He, like so many others, was surprised by exorbitant copays at the pharmacy.
“Providing this information to patients upfront is something that I think will help with prescription medication adherence,” Andrade added.
Legislation aside, redistribution and the budget process are also priorities. This session, he predicts, will end without “too many” controversial articles and without “fireworks”.
Andrade also filed several budget requests, including proposals finance oyster restoration projects and rehabilitation of the railway.
“I’m still hoping to increase the amount of money I can get for my district,” said Andrade, who represents House District 2. The Mendicant District spans parts of Escambia and Santa Rosa counties.