Alex Andrade calls for bonding, prescription drug reform in legislative session

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Rep. Alex Andrade is sponsoring seven bills in the next legislative session in 2022, including a flagship proposal that would reform Florida’s cash bond process.

Under current law, fines and court costs are levied on the payment of a person’s bond. For example, if a person is arrested and a loved one posts a bond, the loved one may lose part of the payment, if not all, due to fines and fees imposed by the court.

State law, however, makes a unique exception for bond slaves. They, unlike the public, are entitled to a full refund.

A lawyer and University of Florida graduate, Andrade described the legal waiver as “unfair, anti-competitive and anti-consumer.” Additionally, he believes the current process is disproportionately harming Florida’s poorest families.

Andrade’s proposal (HB 97) would largely prohibit courts from withholding fees from bond payments, thereby overturning a status quo he describes as “unfair”.

“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 force doctors and insurance companies to share prescription costs with consumers upfront.

The bill, Andrade said, would add transparency to the prescription process and give consumers the ability to seek 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 drug adherence,” Andrade added.

Aside from legislation, redistribution and the budget process are also a priority. This session, he predicts, will end without “too many” controversial articles and “fireworks”.

Andrade also filed several budget requests, including proposals finance oyster restoration projects and rehabilitation of the railway.

“I always hope to increase the amount of money I can get for my district,” said Andrade, who represents House District 2. The Panhandle district spans parts of Escambia and Santa Rosa counties.


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