Friday, April 9, 2021 7:27 PM EST
By BOBBY CAINA CALVAN, AP
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Legislation that would increase penalties against violent protestors is heading for a vote in the Florida Senate. It narrowly cleared a Florida Senate committee after hours of passionate debate, and is another step closer to reaching the desk of Gov. Ron DeSantis. The measure is dubbed the anti-riot bill, and DeSantis has made passage a key legislative priority. The Republican governor is pushing the bill to help deter protests from getting violent. But critics argue that it was squarely intended to quell the Black Lives Matter movement. The Senate is hearing the same bill already passed by the House. If it is approved by the Senate unchanged, it will head to the governor.