TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WFLA) — The governor calls this the most productive legislative session the state has ever seen. With the biggest budget in state history and numerous bills headed to his desk, Republicans are pleased to have checked off everything on their to-do list.
The annual hanky dropped Friday bringing this legislative session to a close. It was 60 days chock-full of protests and policy.
It’s undeniable how controversial and consequential this session was for all Florida Republicans.
“I don’t know if there was any meat left on the bone after this legislative session. If you look at issue after issue, we jointly worked together to tackle this stuff head-on.” Gov. Ron DeSantis said.
Over 300 bills were green-lighted. To name a few, a 6-week abortion ban, permitless carry, a ban on treatments for trans youth, the deconstruction of Disney’s special district, and universal school vouchers.
House Speaker Paul Renner called it a win saying, “We came in with many of these saying ‘it’ll be a great year, we’ll get half of these bills done.’ We got all of them done.”
It was a slate of policies Florida democrats fought all session.
“When I think about this session, if I were to put a theme around it, I say that it’s anti-freedom,” State Rep. Fentrice Driskell said. “The GOP just wanted to pass cultural war bills.”
“We’ve done some things that completely divide Republicans and Democrats, but that’s not what we spend a majority of our time on.” House Speaker Paul Renner said.
The House Democratic leader speculated the reason behind the bills.
“This is all in support of Ron DeSantis, who we know any day now will likely announce that he seeks a Republican nomination for president in 2024,” State Rep. Fentrice Driskell said.
But DeSantis continues to deflect questions about a presidential bid.
When 8 On Your Side’s Libbey Dean asked the governor what he thought about a fellow Republican saying it would be “political malpractice” for DeSantis not to run, the governor responded, “We’ll get to that relatively soon – you’ve either got to put up or shut up on that as well.”
Despite the division between Democrats and Republicans – over 300 bills passed this session and are headed to the governor.
Over the next few weeks, many of those bills and the budget are expected to get DeSantis’ signature.