TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Cap News Services) – With a new administration comes new optimism or pessimism for state lawmakers, depending on which side of the political aisle they fall on.
Legislators are already setting expectations for how President Biden may impact the state.
It was no secret that under the Obama Administration, the Republican Florida Legislature and Governor often found themselves at odds with the federal government.
Now the conservative controlled state government is gearing up for another four years under a liberal President.
“I just hope we don’t see a Federal Government that tries to push the state farther to the left than it’s ready to go like we saw with the administration of President Obama,” said State Senator Ray Rodrigues.
Rodrigues worries the work to expedite everglades restoration under the Trump administration could be impacted by President Joe Biden.
“We could see the Federal Government go back to the ways that they did under President Obama and just put Everglades restoration on the back burner,” said Rodrigues.
Gov. DeSantis has also raised some concerns. As Trump goes, so does his tight personal relationship with the Oval Office.
“I may not be a phone call away from getting everything done soon,” said Gov. DeSantis in a December interview.
Florida Republicans are also critical of Biden’s plan to involve FEMA in vaccine distribution.
“We don’t need additional bureaucrats to get the vaccine out and into the arms of Floridians. What we need are more vaccines,” said Rodrigues.
But Florida Democrats like State Senator Lori Berman argue the state should take help wherever it’s offered.
“And I don’t know why the Governor would in any way not be in favor of something that’s going to get more vaccines in peoples’ arms,” said Berman.
While Republican state legislators may have their concerns at the federal level, what happens in Florida ultimately is still in their hands, as it has been since Republicans took control of both the Florida House and Senate in 1997.
Some state lawmakers are looking to honor the outgoing President here in Florida.
Rep. Anthony Sabatini said he will be sponsoring a bill in the upcoming legislative session that would rename U.S. Highway 27 to “President Donald J. Trump Highway.”
U.S. 27 is a 481-mile-long roadway that runs north and south from Miami up through Tallahassee.