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2022 Legislative Session Almost a Wrap

March 11th, 2022 by Mike Vasilinda

Florida lawmakers have all but wrapped up their sixty day session that was filled with contentious debates and a flush state treasury. They will return Monday for a final vote on a record budget. And as Mike Vasilinda tells us while there is upset over votes on social issues, few are upset when it comes to state spending.

The legislature’s 60th day began with a small protest in an empty rotunda. It was more about a podcast for the Dream Defenders  ”Make it make sense. Make it make sense.”

Than about changing hearts and minds. 

“They’re focused on the wrong things” said JC Staples of Ft. Lauderdale.

On the Senate floor, smiles abounded, the tension of contentious votes on abortion, a perceived attack on the LGBTQ+ community, what third graders should know about sex and changes to the states voting laws, all over.  

“It’s messy” says Senator Dennis Baxley who was at the center of it all. “We protected faith, family, freedom, opportunity and life.”

Still, many Democrats like Joe Geller (D-Broward) call the session a disaster. “A terrible year. Bad Bills, nothing good. It’s been rough” says Geller.

Rep. Anna Eskamani said there was “One bogey man after the other, whether its attacking issues around immigration or talking about race.”

And while Democrats and Republicans were at each others throats when it came to social issues, they’re all rallying around a record state budget.

The state budget is a record 112 Billion. Keith Perry say the cash is soothing wounds.

“The budget obviously. It’s hard to complain about that much money and how we were able to distribute that to a lot of great ideas and policies.”

Anna Eskamani agrees.

“We were able to secure a year long tax break for diapers for Florida families, and we also stopped corporate tax giveaways.”

Lawmakers return Monday for a final vote on the budget, and the last looming question is whether uncertainty over newly approved congressional maps will bring them back yet again.

The Governor has already said he will veto the congressional maps passed by lawmakers. Uncertain is whether the courts will take over or lawmakers will try again.

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