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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis Signs Criminal Justice Package

TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) -- Florida will soon see the first change in 35 years to the legal threshold for felony theft after Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a criminal-justice package into law on Friday.

Raising the threshold that triggers felony theft charges from $300 to $750 was one of the biggest changes in the bill (HB 7125).

Other changes will also give judges more leeway over sentences of non-violent drug offenders and will allow thousands of non-violent offenders to be released from prison earlier for good behavior.

House sponsor Paul Renner, R-Palm Coast, issued a statement Friday evening describing the bill as "the largest criminal justice reform package in more than a generation.

This law now provides a framework that preserves our nearly 50-year low crime rate while taking a new approach to low level, non-violent offenders and increases employment opportunities for former felons seeking employment," But when lawmakers passed the bill in May, it received mixed reactions.

Some lawmakers called it an "important first step," while others said they would have liked to see it do more.

(©2019 CBS Local Media. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The News Service of Florida's contributed to this report.)

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