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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Today, Governor Ron DeSantis, joined by Senate President Kathleen Passidomo and House Speaker Paul Renner, marked the end of the 2023 Legislative Session. This Session was a historic success, with the Legislature passing groundbreaking and nation-leading legislation across the Governor’s policy priorities.
“After a historic election cycle, we seized the opportunity to follow through on our promises and delivered unprecedented results for Floridians this Legislative Session,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “We have secured $2.7 billion in tax cuts, and the legislature passed countless legislative priorities that will better the lives of Florida families. Thank you to the Legislature for such a productive session.”
The Governor and the Legislature supported families by passing $2.7 billion in historic tax cuts for Floridians, first through the Toll Relief Program which began on January 1, 2023, and now through family-focused tax relief to lower costs. This includes permanent tax exemptions for diapers, wipes, children’s clothing, cribs, and strollers.
Florida had the highest net in-migration in the country in 2022. The Governor joined Senate President Kathleen Passiodmo in championing and signing record-setting housing investments into law to help workers in Florida live in the communities where they work. The Governor also succeeded in securing $4 billion in funding to expedite major interstate and roadway projects over the next four years, easing the daily commute for Floridians.
The Governor has prioritized investments in the environment and renewed that commitment through his Executive Order, Achieving Even More Now for Florida’s Environment. This Legislative Session, the Governor secured more than $1 billion for Everglades restoration and water resource protection.
The Governor joined House speaker Paul Renner to sign legislation establishing universal school choice in Florida, with the Legislature building upon the Governor’s previous school choice initiatives to secure Florida’s position as the education state. The Governor also delivered on more than $1 billion for teacher salary increases and legislation to end shady union practices and protect teacher pay. Additionally, the Governor secured a record $8,648 per student funding, an increase of $405 over last year, while also protecting parents’ rights in education. The Legislature also supported the Governor’s higher education agenda to refocus higher education on preparing students to be contributing members of society and make merit rather than ideology the metrics that students and faculty are judged by.
Florida has protected children by passing legislation to ban mutilating procedures and puberty blockers for all children under the age of 18. Additionally, Florida has now joined many other states across the country in advancing the pro-life movement by passing the Heartbeat Protection Act. Furthermore, this Legislative Session the protections enacted by Governor DeSantis against pandemic-era government overreach seen in other parts of the country have been made permanent.
The Governor built on his law-and-order agenda with his third consecutive anti-crime, pro-public safety legislative package which takes aim at so-called “bail reform” by strengthening Florida’s pre-trial release, increasing penalties for drug dealers who target children, and subjecting child rapists to the death penalty. Florida has enjoyed a 50-year low crime rate, and the Governor’s law-and-order legislative agenda is a blueprint for high-crime areas in other parts of the country.
The Governor promised to sign legislation that would allow Floridians to protect themselves without a permission slip from the government and he delivered, making Florida the 26th state to enact constitutional carry.
Biden’s Border Crisis was tackled head on this Session, with the Legislature making Florida the largest state in the country to require employers with more than 25 employees to verify the immigration status of their employees through E-Verify and increasing penalties for human smuggling. The Governor has also secured additional funds to transport more illegal aliens to so-called sanctuary jurisdictions.
The Legislature stepped up to the plate to take on the corporatist, globalist ESG movement and prohibited the financial sector from considering so-called “Social Credit Scores” in banking and lending practices that aim to prevent Floridians from obtaining loans, lines of credit, and bank accounts based on their political beliefs. The Governor and Legislature also pushed back against central bank digital currencies (CBDC), telling the federal administration that such government intrusion into Floridians’ financial freedom is unacceptable and will not be allowed.
The Legislature addressed the threat of foreign influence this Session, with the Legislature building upon the Governor’s previous legislative victories to counteract Chinese corporate espionage and ideological influence in higher education by passing the strongest legislation in the nation to date to prevent CCP-affiliated persons or entities from buying farmland or land near military bases and critical infrastructure facilities in Florida and prohibiting CCP-affiliated persons or entities from ideologically influencing primary and secondary education institutions.
These are just some of the historic accomplishments achieved during this Legislative Session, so stay tuned.