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Legislative Session

The corporate lobby lost*

NEWSLETTER

MARCH 2022

SNEAK PEEK: "During the 2018 legislative session, just a few months the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act had become law, the Florida Legislature passed HB 7093. The legislation, sponsored by future House Speaker Paul Renner, a Republican from the Jacksonville area, set up a system in which the state would send out corporate tax refunds and reduce the state corporate tax rate for a year."

 

 

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‘We will be back fixing this’: Legislature passes amended bill addressing higher ed accreditors

ARTICLE

MARCH 2022

SNEAK PEEK: "The legislation (SPB 7044) would restrict state colleges and universities from being accredited by the same agency for consecutive accreditation cycles. It also would require additional information about textbooks and instructional materials from state universities and colleges, mandating such information be posted at least 45 days before the start of class and kept public for five years. The Senate cleared the bill in a 22-15 vote on Monday."

 

 

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2022 Legislative Session Observations

OPINION,

by Nye Davis

JULY 2022

Anointed a battle of "culture wars," the 2022 Florida Legislative Session shocks a newcomer to the field of politics – and this is what they have to say about it. 

 

 

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Worried kids will lose health care coverage, Florida Democrats send letter to Gov. DeSantis*

ARTICLE

MARCH 2022

SNEAK PEEK: "There was no talk during the 2022 Session of what steps the state would take to ensure children don’t lose health care coverage after the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, Florida Democrats want assurances that the Gov. Ron DeSantisadministration will do its best to ensure children don’t become uninsured."

 

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FL Legislature stuck last-minute policy changes to HB 7; critics call it a ‘huge problem’

ARTICLE

MARCH 2022

SNEAK PEEK: "Now, HB 7, because of a different bill, would be expanded to allow lawmakers and the state Board of Governors that oversees public universities in Florida to determine if there has been a violation of HB 7  at state universities, potentially risking funding for these institutions and raising questions on transparency in the legislative process."

 

 

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DeSantis signs bill creating one of the nation’s only election police units

ARTICLE

APRIL 2022

SNEAK PEEK: "Other parts of the bill would make 'ballot harvesting' a felony while another section would mandate that election supervisors screen voter rolls on a yearly basis to look for voters who may have moved or are no longer eligible. The Florida agency responsible for issuing driver’s licenses would be required to notify state elections officials monthly if they issued a license to noncitizens who are in the country legally."

 

 

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Gov. DeSantis signs a bill that limits the terms of school board members and gives parents a say in instructional materials

ARTICLE

MARCH 2022

SNEAK PEEK: "Under the bill, school boards will be required to adopt procedures that, in part, provide for the “regular removal or discontinuance” of books from media centers based on factors such as alignment to state academic standards. Elementary schools will be required to publish online lists of all materials maintained in school libraries or that are part of school reading lists."

 

 

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Legislature passes inmate education bill

ARTICLE

MARCH 2022

SNEAK PEEK: "According to the Department of Corrections, inmates who participate in such programs are 25% less likely to return to jail than inmates who do not. What’s more, DOC reports that for 'every grade-level increase achieved, a student’s likelihood of recidivism decreases by three percent.'"

 

 

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Florida proposed budget includes at least $101 million for mental health care*

ARTICLE

MARCH 2022

SNEAK PEEK: "Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd has been a longtime proponent of helping the mentally ill so his deputies don’t have to encounter the untreated and so the Sheriff's Office doesn’t have to treat them at the county jail – currently the largest mental health facility in Polk County. He applauded the Legislature’s decision to include increased funding." (Moore, 2022)

 

 

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Transphobic "Protections of Medical Conscience" bill dies
 

BILL ANALYSIS

JAN 2022

HB 747, a transphobic, homophobic piece of legislation, thankfully, dies before being heard by both chambers this Session. This is only one of many attacks on LGBTQ+ folks on behalf of conserving personal freedoms - this time, pleading that a medical professional's conscience is justification enough to refuse care for a patient in non-emergent need. A patient could be refused healthcare on the basis of certain protected classes such as gender identity or religious differences. 

 

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Private prison investors love the Florida Senate's budget*

NEWSLETTER

FEB 2022

SNEAK PEEK: "On Jan. 10, just 24 hours before the Florida Legislature opened its 2022 session, the private-prison contractor GEO Group and its executive chairman gave a combined $200,000 to a political committee controlled by the two top budget-writers in the Florida Senate: Senate President Wilton Simpson and Appropriations Chair Kelli Stargel. Six weeks later, the Florida Senate is pushing to spend $1.3 billion building a pair of 4,500-bed prisons – and GEO executives and investors appear thrilled." (Garcia, 2022)

 

 

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22,591 disabled Floridians on years-long waiting list*

ARTICLE

NOVEMBER 2021

During this Session, $59M was added to the Agency for Persons with Disabilities Department, however, this funding only supports less than 7% of those on the waitlist for assistance.

 

SNEAK PEEK: "...One study says Florida ranks 34th in terms of serving the disabled population and dead last for helping them find jobs. Plus, those who get the waivers find that Florida’s reimbursement rate is about 40% lower than the national average, meaning they can’t always afford the care they need even with public assistance." (Maxwell, 2022)

 

 

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Anti-Net Metering Vetoed

BILL ANALYSIS

FEB 2022

Net metering, a process allowing customers that use renewable energy to offset the cost of utility payments, was under constant attack in the name of maintaining an efficient state economy. Despite its overwhelming opposition during committee hearings, the bill passed all committees in both houses. While the bill was ultimately vetoed, its unseemly progression in legislature demonstrates the wavering influences of the people in the presence of monetary prowess. 

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The cost of corporate tax giveaways*

ARTICLE

MARCH 2022

While many of the bills listed on the attached document did not make it through the legislature, this document exhibits multiple attempts at implementing corporate tax breaks into statute, at the expense of Florida taxpayers. 

 

 

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Big pay hikes for state workers in state budget, but what about university and college employees?*

ARTICLE

MARCH 2022

As Session came to an end, discourse on the final budget revealed a much-needed pay raise for state employees... barring university and college workers. (Morgan, 2022)

 

 

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Miya's Law Passes

BILL ANALYSIS

FEB 2022

SB 898, known as "Miya's Law," passes into law, making background checks a requirement in a landlord's employment process, and taking appropriate actions based on its results. This comes as a swift response to Miya Marcano's death in September 2021 as a result of an employee abusing his access privileges. As a bipartisan piece of legislation, SB 898 strengthens tenant safety. 

 

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Opinion: Florida's secret weapon in the housing crisis

ARTICLE

JAN 2022

SNEAK PEEK: "Despite the years of sweeps, the Sadowski fund remains Florida’s best opportunity to address the dearth of affordable residential units and fight the housing crisis at the state level. Given how the fund operates — both providing assistance for homebuyers and renters, and incentivizing developers to add to the affordable housing stock — it’s also an excellent tool to help municipal and county governments find local solutions to increase housing. All it takes is ending the raids on the funds and properly funding the Sadowski trust." (Delaney, 2022)

Read more about of Sadowski fund "sweeps" here.* 

 

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* Thanks to our partner, Ida Eskamani!