TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA — Governor Desantis delivered his 2023 State of the State Address on Tuesday morning, where he addressed his key legislative priorities for Florida’s 60-day legislative session.
In a speech delivered to a joint legislature, Governor Desantis highlighted Florida’s current successes while also touching on his goals and priorities for this year’s session. “Florida is number one and working together we will ensure that Florida remains the number one state in the United States,” he began.
The priorities highlighted throughout his speech can be found below:
- The governor wants to enact Constitutional Carry and join the 25 other states that already have it.
Permanent Protection from Medical Authoritarianism:
- The Governor explained that these protections are set to expire in July and emphasized the importance of making them permanent.
- “Medical freedom shouldn’t have an expiration date,” he said.
- Will increase teacher’s salaries, establish a Teacher’s Bill of Rights, implement paycheck protections for teachers, expand school choice, and fortify parents rights
- The Governor emphasized that our children are not guinea pigs for scientific experimentation.
Moving Florida Forward Infrastructure Initiative:
- Governor DeSantis emphasized the importance of expanding infrastructure as Florida continues to grow.
- The initiative will expedite 20 major interstate and roadway projects over the next four years.
- The Governor thanked President Kathleen Passidomo for tackling this issue head on with SB 102, known as the “Live Local Act”, which will provide incentives for private investment in affordable housing and encourage mixed-use development.
Florida’s Natural Resources:
- The Governor showed strong support for additional water quality and Everglades restoration efforts.
- $20 million will go into water quality improvement projects along the Indian River Lagoon (known as the Indian River Lagoon Protection Program).
- These programs will help collect stormwater runoff and reduce pollutants that enter the lagoon.
- Increase penalties for fentanyl dealers, specifically those who have dealt to minors.
- Need to treat dealers as murderers.
- Further strengthen our laws against illegal immigration by “enhancing employment verification, increasing penalties for human smuggling and further disincentivizing illegal immigration to the state of Florida”.
- The Governor emphasized that Florida is not a sanctuary state.
- Wants to abolish cash bail
- The Governor explained that the The Chinese Communist Party is the biggest threat our country faces and Florida lawmakers recognize it.
- Will ban the CCP’s Confucius Institute at state universities and colleges.
- Will also try to stop their land purchases in the U.S.
The Cancer Connect Collaborative:
- Started by Casey Desantis, the initiative will provide and improve cancer research and treatment.
The governor wrapped up his speech by emphasizing his dedication to ensuring Florida remains the country’s most desired destination. “We will stand strong, we will hold the line, we won’t back down and I can promise you this – you ain't seen nothing yet,” Governor DeSantis said.