Wed. Jun 7th, 2023

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — From increasing gun rights to going after “woke” traders, the Florida Legislature is rapidly shifting on an inventory of payments that can give Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis conservative-pleasing coverage successes as he prepares to launch a presidential marketing campaign.

The normally slow-moving Legislature ended the week by sending DeSantis payments to protect companies and insurance coverage corporations from lawsuits, enable any Floridian to get a government-paid voucher for personal faculties and an inexpensive housing invoice that stops native governments from enacting lease management ordinances.

“We’ve got plenty of the governor’s priorities in a extremely great place. We’ll go them,” Home Speaker Paul Renner stated Friday as lawmakers went residence for the weekend. “We’re shifting rapidly … A few of what the governor has proposed is monumental and good, and we assist it 100%.”

That can give DeSantis extra time to boast about successes whereas avoiding any notion of infighting if his priorities are held hostage till the closing moments of session.

When the 60-day session opened, DeSantis predicted his priorities would go rapidly.

“They’re aware that it’s most likely higher to not have sort of an eight-car pileup the final week of session the place the entire agenda will get by within the final 72 hours,” DeSantis stated. “I believe you’re going to see extra earlier.”

DeSantis signed one in all his precedence payments throughout a personal ceremony Friday. The brand new legislation creates extra hurdles for folks suing personal corporations and expands on laws handed over the previous yr geared toward reining in skyrocketing property insurance coverage charges.

“Florida has lengthy been generally known as a ‘judicial hellhole’ because of the authorized system’s incentivizing of extreme and frivolous lawsuits,” DeSantis tweeted. “I signed a collection of reforms that can shield Floridians and our economic system from predatory lawsuits.”

However opponents stated it is a giveaway to insurance coverage corporations on the expense of customers.

“The brand new legislation does nothing to guard Floridians and the whole lot to guard the earnings of billionaire insurance coverage companies,” Curry Pajcic, president of the Florida Justice Affiliation.

The Legislature additionally despatched DeSantis a invoice Friday to make it unlawful for state and native funding funds to think about the environmental, social and governance stances corporations assist. Considered one of DeSantis’s greatest speaking factors is combating again towards “woke” companies.

“It’s a type of Marxism being pushed by unelected officers, progressives that hate our nation and a number of the largest funding companies on the planet,” Republican Rep. Bob Rommel stated of the funding technique he known as “company activism.”

Democrats opposed the invoice.

“We’re speaking about issues that aren’t actual — company activism,” Democratic Rep. Michele Rayner-Goolsby scoffed. “I don’t know what company activism is.”

The Home additionally despatched DeSantis a invoice geared toward rising the supply of inexpensive housing and boosting help packages for households in search of housing. Whereas it largely acquired bipartisan assist, some Democrats opposed it as a result of it is going to additionally preserve native governments from enacting lease management ordinances at a time when rents are climbing rapidly.

On Thursday, the Legislature despatched DeSantis a invoice that expands the state’s college voucher program to anybody. On Friday, the Home handed a invoice to permit hid carry of weapons with no allow for anybody legally allowed to personal a gun — one other DeSantis precedence. The Senate is anticipated to go the gun invoice.

Lawmakers are additionally anticipated to go payments quickly to handle unlawful immigration and to ban abortion after six weeks of gestation, each DeSantis priorities.

Lawmakers usually wait till the ultimate week of session to resolve a number of the most vital coverage points as they negotiate particulars and commerce votes. Not this yr.

Even the underside line of the state spending proposals offered by the Home and Senate this week aren’t too removed from the $115 million plan DeSantis outlined Feb. 1. Lawmakers have loads of time to get the finances accomplished, in contrast to some latest years when lawmakers needed to keep late or come again to complete the work.

“The sluggish tempo of session,” Renner laughed Friday whereas speaking about what’s already been accomplished within the first three weeks of the method.

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