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Florida 2023 Legislative Session Preview

LOOIZ via Flickr creative commons

The 2023 regular session of the Florida legislature begins next Tuesday, March 7. In February, Governor Ron DeSantis released his “Framework for Freedom” budget proposal totaling a record $114.8 billion, including total reserves in excess of $15 billion. With Republican supermajorities in both the House and Senate, DeSantis is likely to see much of his priority legislation pass. Such bills include a measure to allow people to carry concealed firearms without a license, a massive expansion of the state’s school choice voucher program, more restrictions in K-12 schools and higher education when it comes to subjects including LGBTQ issues, critical race theory, and diversity, equity and inclusion.

Other major legislation to watch includes a proposed revamping of defamation laws aimed at weakening protections for journalists, cracking down on unauthorized immigration, a plan to shield businesses and insurance companies from costly lawsuits, and a bill to block government investment decisions involving “environmental, social, and governance,” or ESG, standards.

We’ll get a preview analysis of what to expect in the coming session and what it could mean for Floridians in a conversation with Florida Gulf Coast University Political Science professors Roger Green, Ph.D., and Peter Bergerson, Ph.D.