We’re less than 24 hours away from new bills signed by Governor DeSantis during the 2023 legislative session becoming laws. Here are just a few we believe you should be aware of.
Despite the opportunity to pass good legislation that improved the lives of ALL Floridians, we saw the Republican Leadership of the Legislature work in tandem with Gov DeSantis to push a policy agenda that fueled culture wars that gave license to state-sanctioned discrimination, attacked voting rights, and further sought to deny the history and contributions of Black people in our state education system.
SB 7050 - Elections
Bills that take effect July 1, 2023
● Updates Florida “Resign to run law” so Florida Politicians (like Gov DeSantis) do not need to resign from office if running for President or Vice President.
● Adds disclaimer to voter registration cards: “This card is for information purposes only. This card is proof of registration but is not legal verification of the eligibility to vote. It is the responsibility of a voter to keep his or her eligibility status current.”
● Increased voter purges
● Third-party voter registration organizations must apply to register voters every election
● Requires that each person collecting/handling voter registration applications hasn't been
convicted of certain felonies and is a U.S. citizen
● Raises aggregate fines to $250,000
● New signature training for election staff
● Expanded authority for elections police.
SB 266 - Higher Education
● Will limit diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts at state institutions.
● A statewide prohibition of college courses and programs that espouse the belief that
“systemic racism, sexism, oppression, and privilege are ingrained in American society
since its founding.
● Eliminates the study of Critical Race Theory at state Colleges & Universities
● Requires each University President to take on a larger role in personnel decisions for
● Reforms the tenure review process.
HB 411, 477 -School Board
HB 411 would allow candidates for the school board to establish residency in the district after their election.
HB 477 would limit the number of years someone can serve on the school board to two terms or eight years.
HB 543- Concealed Carry
● Gun owners will no longer be required to obtain a license to conceal carry a firearm in the state of Florida.
● This law would eliminate background checks, fingerprints, and other screening measures being in place for those who wish to conceal carry.
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The state of Florida would still issue permits for individuals who wish to have a concealed license so they are able to carry in other states that have reciprocity with the state of Florida
- School Choice
The largest expansion of school choice in the history of the state of Florida. Will potentially divert billions of dollars from the Public Education system. No income restrictions for eligibility
Only $350 million was set aside in the budget to help offset costs.
HB 49 - Abandoned Cemeteries
● Implements the recommendations of a task force approved by the Legislature two years ago to study the issue of abandoned African American cemeteries.
● Creates and staffs a Historic Cemeteries Program within the Department of State's Division of Historical Resources and funds grants to research, repair, restore and maintain those abandoned cemeteries.
SB 1718 - Immigration Law
● Harsher penalties for transporting undocumented immigrants into Florida.
● Invalidate driver's licenses given to people who can't prove their legal status
● Prohibit undocumented migrants from becoming certified lawyers.
● Require employers with more than 25 employees to use E-verify.
● $12M to send migrants out of Florida.
● Require hospitals that accept Medicaid to ask for citizenship status.
HB 1069 & HB 1223 - Anti LBGTQ+ legislation
● Expansion of “Don't Say Gay” from 2022. Will define the term "sex" in schools by requiring instructors to teach that a person's sexual identity is determined biologically at birth.
● The bill also prohibits employees and students from providing, being asked to provide, and being required to use specific titles and pronouns.
● The bill would allow more scrutiny of certain educational materials by the State Department of Education and allow parents to object to books and other materials their children are exposed to.
SB 2500 -State Budget
● $116.5 billion dollar budget (Largest budget in state history)
● Over $500 million in vetos
● Almost 40% of the budget is supplemented by Federal funds
● $2.7 billion in consumer tax cuts
● $47 billion for health care (does not include Medicaid expansion)
● $6.7 billion for Criminal & Civil Justice
● 5 percent across-the-board pay raises for state employees
● Over $34 billion for K-12 and college education.
● $4 billion investment in infrastructure
● $700 to address affordable and workforce housing.
● $12 million to prevent migrants from staying in Florida.