FLORIDA — Today, Ron DeSantis kicks off a four-day tour of early-voting states with an event in Des Moines, Iowa. But before that, he took the time to reflect back on the intense legislative session.
“I mean, we just did more than anybody has done,” DeSantis told The Florida Standard. In the first half of 2023, DeSantis says he accomplished more than “probably an entire four-year term” with the help of Florida’s Legislature.
The governor made a decision to wait on an official announcement until the legislative session ended because he said his top priority was Florida.
“I’M FOCUSED ON RESULTS”
The Atlantic hurricane season officially begins tomorrow and DeSantis said looking out for Florida will still be his top priority.
“We take a lot of pride in [hurricane] response and we will do that again if it happens,” DeSantis tells The Florida Standard. “Hopefully we get spared this season.”
“I’m focused on results,” DeSantis said. The governor added that there will always be people criticizing what he does as governor but said his record speaks for itself.
ACCOMPLISHMENTS IN 2023
In the recent legislative session in Florida, a supermajority in both the House and Senate passed historic legislation that was signed into law by Governor DeSantis.
- Parents’ rights were expanded in schools.
- School choice is now available for all Floridians.
- Florida is ranked No. 1 for education freedom, No. 1 for parental empowerment, No. 1 in state spending on private school choice and No. 1 in school choice enrollment.
- Critical Race Theory was banned in K–12 schools.
Higher Education Reform
- Ended tenure and installed performance reviews.
- Dismantled the monopolistic style of higher ed accreditation agencies.
- Ensuring students and staff are evaluated based on merit by eliminating DEI programs based on discrimination, exclusion, and indoctrination.
- Preventing Chinese entities or affiliates from buying farmland in Florida or land near our military bases.
- Stopping sensitive data from being stored on servers that might be owned by entities affiliated with the CCP.
- Prohibiting Chinese influence in higher education.
- Blocking access to dangerous applications, such as TikTok, on government servers and devices.
- Protecting the most vulnerable with the Heartbeat Protection Act.
- Defending 2nd Amendment rights.
- Constitutional carry allows Floridians to carry concealed weapons without a government-issued permit.
Law and Order
- Strengthened pre-trial detention and increased sentences for drug traffickers that target children with dangerous fentanyl.
- Subjected child rapists to the death penalty and simultaneously reformed death penalty statutes to ensure justice.
- DeSantis removed a progressive Soros-funded district attorney from office.
- Mandated immigration status verification through E-Verify for public and private employers.
- Made knowingly transporting illegal immigrant minors a felony.
- Made using a fake ID to gain employment a felony.
- Required hospitals to report healthcare costs for illegal aliens.
- Gave Florida more money to send more illegal immigrants to more “sanctuary” jurisdictions such as Martha’s Vineyard.
- Drug companies must now disclose wholesale drug price increases of 15 percent or more.
- Prohibits pharmacy benefit managers (PMBs) from mandating mail orders.
- Lowered tolls across the state.
- Created a permanent tax exemption on diapers, wipes, baby clothes, cribs and strollers.
- Reduced taxes by nearly $5 billion – a Florida record.
Legal Reform and Housing
- Dedicated more than half a billion dollars to incentivize and jumpstart new construction for workforce housing.
- Hometown Heroes Program makes sure police officers, firefighters, teachers, and other community leaders can afford to live in or near the communities they serve.
ESG & CBDC
- Prohibited the financial sector from considering so-called “social credit scores” in banking and lending practices.
- Prohibited CBDCs or federally-controlled digital dollar in Florida.
Let Kids Be Kids
- Prohibited sex reassignment surgeries and prescriptions for children under 18.
- Banned children from attending drag shows.
- Protecting students from having to “declare” their pronouns in school and prohibiting students from being forced to use pronouns that are not based on a student’s biological sex.
- Expanded parents’ rights in education by prohibiting classroom instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity in Pre–K through 8th grade.
- Protecting young women from being forced to use bathrooms and locker rooms alongside biological males.