TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WFLA) — Florida’s 60-day legislative was one of the most controversial in recent memory.
GOP supermajorities gave the party the power to approve restrictions on gender dysphoria treatments, a six-week abortion ban, and permitless carry.
When Florida Republicans won big in the midterm elections, Gov. Ron DeSantis promised to put those numbers to use.
“I’m happy to report that everything we set out to achieve we have achieved during this legislative session,” DeSantis said during a bill signing in Hernando County Monday.
Outcomes during Florida’s 2023 legislative session were easy to predict and we saw numerous controversial bills sail through both chambers with little to no opposition from Republicans. Now, over 300 bills are headed to the governor, many of them without Democrats’ support
“There were many bad bills this session so sometimes it’s difficult to single out just one,” Florida House Minority Leader Fetrice Driskell (D-Hillsborough) said. “He’s far too extreme for Florida and America. So while all of this might help him in a Republican primary, it’s not going to help him in the general election in the 2024 election cycle.”
Florida’s House Speaker thinks otherwise.
“I don’t see us being punished for that. I see us being rewarded for it,” State Rep. Paul Renner said.
Renner thinks voters will look at the whole slate of bills approved this year, not just the polarizing ones. Though he does admit the Republican supermajority isn’t invincible.
“That’s a really high number. So I don’t think losing a seat or two from that amazing 2022 election is a sign of rejection by any means,” said Renner.
Political analyst Dr. Susan MacManus says Republican lawmakers are delivering on last year’s campaign promises.
“They looked at the election results and the issues they ran on and said – we won – overwhelmingly. That’s a signal to us that we need to get done what we said we were gonna do when we were campaigning,” MacManus said.