Florida Legislative Session Update
Welcome to March, the beginning of spring and the beginning of the Florida Legislative session. For those who don’t know, I spent 12 years working in the Florida Legislature as an aide to several senators, including Nan Rich who now serves on the Broward County Commission and represents a portion of Tamarac. I also served as an analyst in the Senate Minority Office. Because of this, I have stayed very involved in what’s happening in Tallahassee.
While the session starts on Tuesday, March 7th there are already a plethora of bills that have been filed. These bills range from good to bad, to even worse, depending on your view. I can only voice my opinion. Some of the bills and issues I will be speaking out against include the following:
- HB 17 – Local Regulation Preemption – This bill would preempt or take away a local government’s ability to regulate businesses, professions and occupations.
- There are a number of gun bills that would allow a person with an open carry permit to carry guns into areas that are currently prohibited such as schools, public meetings like our Commission meetings, and some areas of an airport.
- Our city, along with many others in Broward County, awaits the laws to implement the passage of the use of medical marijuana, before we can make any sensible regulations regarding the growth, sale or distribution of it.
- Governor Scott has requested $618 million in tax cuts including a number of sales-tax holidays that would cost the state $98 million. While some may benefit from the tax cuts, the loss of dollars will be felt somewhere in the state’s budget because the Florida Constitution requires our state to have a balanced budget.
The legislative session runs for 60 days and there will be many more bills and issues to be watched. I will keep you posted on what passes and what fails.