TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — This Week in Politics…we are a month out before Florida state lawmakers convene for their regular session and so far, more than 500 bills have been filed for consideration.
Republicans will be entering with a supermajority in both the House and Senate, so they can determine what happens with most of them. Their advantage allows them to halt debate and call a vote on proposals, it also helps Governor Ron DeSantis get some of his priorities quickly across the finish line.
Permitless Carry: Right now, GOP leaders are drumming up support for a “constitutional carry” law, which would allow Floridians 21 and up to carry concealed guns without a license or training, which is required under the current law.
People would still be prohibited from carrying guns in places like schools or sports games.
Critics and Democratic lawmakers have blasted the bill saying it would make the state less safe.
"Permitless carry is here. In a nation plagued by gun violence this is NOT the direction to go," State Rep. Anna Eskamani (D-Orlando) tweeted.
25 states have a similar law on the books, and Governor DeSantis has previously voiced support for it.
Death Penalty change? Another change the governor supports — two bills filed by Republicans in the state Senate and House would change the laws surrounding the state’s death penalty.
If passed, they would allow juries to recommend capital punishment if 8 of 12 jurors vote in favor of it. Right now, it needs to be a unanimous vote.
This law is in the spotlight again, following the sentencing of Nikolas Cruz, the Parkland shooter who was sentenced to life, but not death after 3 of the 12 jurors voted against it.
DeSantis vs. Disney: The feud is also in the spotlight again and lawmakers could be in the Capitol ahead of their regular session. The Governor is calling for a special session next week to address the Reedy Creek Improvement District.
Budget proposal: This week, the governor unveiled his state budget proposal, a record $115 billion that includes tax breaks, and raises for state employees.
Also included in the governor's budget asks, are nods to conservative hot-button issues nationwide, as he continues to build his immense national profile. Things like tax exemptions for gas stoves and an additional $12 million for the state’s controversial migrant relocation program are included.
The final state budget will be approved by the Legislature in March.
2024 in sight? Not quite yet for Florida’s governor, but Florida resident and Former President Donald Trump is the only declared Republican candidate in the race so far, he held his first campaign stops in the early primary states of South Carolina and New Hampshire.
Meantime, the GOP’s next 2024 presidential candidate won’t be coming from Florida.
Former South Carolina Governor and UN Ambassador under Trump, Nikki Haley is expected to announce her candidacy in the coming weeks.
She teased a big announcement coming February 15th and has hinted at a run, in recent months.