It stands for "Freedom and Right to Emancipate from Exploitation Act."
The past month has brought a flurry of action in Britney Spears' battle to end a 13-year conservatorship that the singer has claimed in court testimony is smothering and abusive. Now, two members of the House of Representatives have stepped forward to introduce legislation that might make it easier for people like Spears to ask a judge to replace their private guardian or conservator.
According to The New York Times, the bill -- the Freedom and Right to Emancipate from Exploitation Act, or FREE -- was slated to be announced on Tuesday (July 20) by co-sponsors Florida democrat Rep. Charlie Crist and South Carolina republican Rep. Nancy Mace. If passed, the legislation would allow individuals under conservatorship to request that their private conservator/guardian be replaced by a public guardian employed by the state, a family member or a private agent.
The paper said that the aim is to provide more accountability to a system in which individuals currently have to prove in court that abuse or fraud has taken place in order for the guardian to be removed from their case. “We want to make sure that we bring transparency and accountability to the conservatorship process,” Mace told the Times about the legislation. “The Britney Spears conservatorship, it’s a nightmare. If this can happen to her, it can happen to anybody.”