Governor DeSantis declares Florida the freest state in America
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (CAPITOL NEWS SERVICE) - Governor Ron DeSantis declared Flordia to be the freest state in America during his annual state of the state address to open the 2022 legislative session.
Tuesday, the Governor vowed to continue on the path to more freedom, with more policies to attract and support business and jobs. Outnumber Florida Democrats vowed to put up a fierce fight, especially when it comes to a woman’s right to choose.
Governor Ron DeSantis used the word freedom more than a half dozen times, comparing Florida to other states during his state of the state address.
“While so many around the country have consigned the people’s rights to the graveyard, Florida has stood a freedom’s vanguard,” the Governor told lawmakers.
That freedom has produced record revenue for the state
“I’m proposing a one billion dollar gas tax holiday,” DeSantis said.
The Governor also vowed never to embrace a soft-on-crime agenda.
“We will not allow law enforcement to be defunded, bail to be eliminated, criminals to prematurely released from prison, or prosecutors to ignore the law,” DeSantis said.
DeSantis is pushing for up to a 25% raise for police, asked for money to deport illegal immigrants. He wants election laws tightened.
“Ballot harvesting has no place in the state of Florida,” DeSantis said.
Republicans, including Representative Sam Garrison of Fleming Island in Northeast Florida, were joyful afterward.
“I think the Governor hit a home run. You know where he stands on everything,” Garrison said.
But Democrat Nikki Fried, who is running for Governor, said Ron DeSantis has failed.
“This governor couldn’t lead Florida out of a paper bag,” said the Democratic hopeful.
Afterward, the Governor told reporters there is no reason for lawmakers to wait for an abortion decision from the U.S. Supreme Court.
The comment came just hours after Senator Kelli Stargel introduced a bill limiting abortions to the first 15 weeks.
“I think the decision should be made early in your pregnancy, not later,” Stargel said.
Senate Democrat leader Lauren Book said outnumbered Democrats will overcome their lack of numbers.
“We are a fierce, fierce bunch of people who want to fight for everyday Floridians,” Book said.
Democrats are down three members as the session began.
One Senator and two House members were required to resign when they decided to run in a special congressional election.
The session runs through March 11th.
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