Interim Committee Week #6 | February 13-17, 2023

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Marco T. Paredes, Jr.
Director of
Government Affairs
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Dear Colleagues and Friends,

Last week, the Legislature held their sixth week of interim committee meetings. Governor DeSantis signed the following three bills that were passed during Special Session 2023B:

  • SB 2B Emergency Response – Appropriates $650 million in emergency funding for hurricane relief and creates a $50 million loan program for local governments impacted by Hurricanes Ian and Nicole last year.
  • SB 4B Statewide Prosecutor – Delineates the election-related crimes over which the statewide prosecutor has concurrent jurisdiction with state attorneys to prosecute.
  • SB 6B Transportation of Inspected Unauthorized Aliens – Creates the Unauthorized Alien Transport Program within the Division of Emergency Management to facilitate the transport of inspected unauthorized aliens within the United States.
  • HB 7B Intercollegiate Athlete Compensation and Rights – Modifies provisions relating to intercollegiate athlete compensation and rights in Florida.

There are three local special district bills, including HB 9B, that have not yet been presented to Governor DeSantis. HB 9B makes several changes to the Reedy Creek Improvement District such as renaming the special district to the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District and allowing the Governor to appoint board members that would take over the provision of local government services to Walt Disney World.              

Below are some highlights from the past week of committee meetings:

  • Tort Reform FiledHB 837 makes several changes to the state’s tort system such as eliminating one-way attorney fees and attorney fee multipliers across all lines of insurance and prohibiting the use of letters of protection. A letter of protection is a letter sent to a medical professional by a plaintiff’s attorney representing the patient and guaranteeing the provider payment for medical treatment from a future lawsuit settlement or verdict award. This week, the bill will be heard by the House Civil Justice Subcommittee. The bill currently does not have a Senate companion.
  • Digital Bill of Rights – Governor DeSantis unveiled a legislative proposal that creates a digital bill of rights. The proposal would enhance user privacy on internet platforms and protect minors from being targeted online. It would prohibit platforms like TikTok on an internet connection provided by state government buildings, schools, or universities. The proposal also imposes a ban on state agency partnerships with social media platforms to facilitate censorship initiatives and prohibits data-gathering methods utilized by GPS or online shopping software.  This proposal is has not yet been filed as a bill.
  • Medical Marijuana – Christopher Kimball, the Director of the Office of Medical Marijuana Use, gave a presentation to the House Healthcare Regulations Subcommittee that showed a 71% increase in the number of active patients and a substantial increase in the number of certified physicians in the past two years.
  • Appropriations – Four Senate appropriation committees received presentations from the Governor’s Office providing a detailed breakdown of the Governor’s recommended $114.8 billion budget for Fiscal Year 2023-2024 in the areas of criminal and civil justice, transportation, agriculture, education, and the environment. You can read more about the Governor’s recommended FY 2023-2024 budget here.

The Legislature will return for their final week of interim committee meetings before the start of the 2023 Regular Session on Tuesday, March 7th. 

I would be happy to speak with you about any of the issues above. For more information, please contact me.


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