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Florida 2021 Legislative Session Preview

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Lawmakers will convene Florida’s annual legislative session March 2 and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic will be front and center. Legislators are facing a projected $2.75 billion budget deficit due to revenue losses stemming from pandemic-induced shutdowns in 2020. Lawmakers are also considering a number of bills related to the pandemic, including legal liability protections for businesses and a proposal to limit the governor’s executive power. Other high-profile measures amid the more than 2,500 bills that have been filed include an anti-riot proposal supported by Gov. DeSantis, changes to Florida’s election laws, criminal justice reform, changes to education policy posed by the pandemic, and a push from Democrats to reform Florida’s unemployment compensation system. We’ll take a closer look at what’s being considered and what to expect with Florida Gulf Coast University Political Scientists Peter Bergerson, Ph.D., and Roger Green, Ph.D.