Dear Colleagues and Friends,

Below is a high-level update on the five most significant bills and issues that occurred during the 2022 Florida Legislative session’s eighth week, February 28 - March 4.

Budget conference begins
The House and Senate budget negotiators began meeting this week to come to an agreement on several spending issues that could result in a record state budget for the 2022-2023 fiscal year starting July 1. While both chambers already passed their respective budgets, the budget conference committees are now focused on how $42.44 billion in state general revenue will be allocated. Subject-matter conference committees had a deadline of yesterday to reach an agreement on issues. Unresolved issues will now be resolved by further negotiations between the Chair of each chamber’s full Appropriations Committee. Any remaining issues still not agreed to will be decided by the Speaker of the House and Senate President. Due to the constitutionally required 72-hour “cooling off” period, the final budget must reach lawmakers by Tuesday, March 8 for the Legislature to adjourn on time next Friday, March 11.

State redistricting complete while Congressional redistricting moves closer to final
The Florida Supreme Court approved the final House and Senate redistricting maps. The House Congressional Reapportionment Committee approved a “two map” approach that was passed by the full House and Senate: a “primary” map that breaks up Congressional District (CD) 5 in Duval County and a “secondary” map that keeps the general boundaries of CD 5 since 2015 in place. The purpose of the two-map approach is to have a backup plan in case a court rules against the primary map on grounds that eliminating the current CD 5 diminishes the ability of minority voters in the region to elect a candidate of their choice. The map now heads to the Governor who stated today that he would veto it.  

Data privacy passes the full House
The House passed HB 9, requiring businesses to allow consumers to opt out of their personal data being sold, and the right to access, delete or correct data. The bill applies to businesses that meet two of these three requirements: (1) annual revenues over $50 million, (2) advertising data of 50,000 or more consumers, or (3) 50 percent or more of revenue acquired from the sale of data. The bill also creates a private cause of action to enforce the new law. The bill is a priority of House Speaker Chris Sprowls and Governor DeSantis. The Senate companion has yet to be heard in committee.

Previously reported bills move closer to passing
With only seven days left in the 2022 Regular Session, key bills previously reported on in the Rotunda Report, including crypto-currency, school concurrency and the annual tax package, have passed one or both chambers and are moving closer to passing the Legislature.

Four state agency appointments move forward
The Senate Ethics and Elections Committee reported favorably the appointment of four state agency appointees by Governor Ron DeSantis including Department of Corrections Secretary Ricky Dixon, Department of Business and Professional Regulation Secretary Melanie Griffin, Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Shawn Hamilton and Department of Management Services Secretary Todd Inman. The appointments will now be considered by the full Senate and if confirmed, they will serve at the pleasure of the Governor. 

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