Florida lawmakers meet for the 124th time since statehood

Published: Jan. 10, 2022 at 6:17 PM CST
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (CAPITOL NEWS SERVICE) - When lawmakers begin their 124th annual session on January 11th they are required to do just two things-- redraw the states legislative and congressional districts and pass a balanced budget.

The Governor has laid out a long list of requests that include bonuses for teachers and first responders, as well as giving parents the right to sue school boards that violate state laws.

He hit some of the high points on national TV over the weekend on Fox News.

“We’re going after critical race theory. We’re fighting back against Biden’s mandates. We’re fighting back against illegal immigration” he told host Mark Levin.

Republican State Senator Jeff Brandes believes it will be a slam dunk for the Governor.

“I think Governor will get most of what he wants. The strategy around here right now is to kind of draft behind the Governor. He’s doing a lot of good things in a lot of areas” the Senator said.

And for now anyway, the legislative session is going to be completely open to the public, with no Covid restrictions whatsoever.

Lobbyists were already walking the halls Monday. Charles Fudge, 74, was sent to a state reform school when he was 12. He and hundreds of other wards of the school are seeking compensation for the beatings and abuse.

“Had I never gone there, I probably would have been a very good football player,” Futch said. “I’m sure I would have served our country in the military.”

Futch said more White House Boys will be at the capitol Tuesday for opening day.

During a morning virtual event, Democrats, including Representative Fentrice Driskell of Tampa, criticized much of the Governor’s agenda.

“What we can expect from this Governor is consistency in terms of doubling down on his failed approach to the pandemic” Driskell said.

Brandes called it the wrong approach.

“I think its the wrong message for them. That’s not the right message at all. He’s getting kids back in school, he’s keeping the state open,” Brandes said.

In his first three sessions Ron DeSantis has gotten virtually everything he asked from lawmakers and more.

2022 isn’t likely to break his streak.

Two pressing problems not high on lawmakers agenda are a crumbling prison system and property insurance bills increasing by as much as thirty percent or more a year.