TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida lawmakers are back in Tallahassee for a short organisational session this week. They will vote on who will be in charge of the House and Senate for the next two years. Republicans are happy that they have supermajorities in both chambers, while Democrats are trying to figure out how to stay relevant.
Now, it will be easier for the GOP to pass bills, change the chamber’s rules, or use their power to override a governor’s veto.
Senate Minority Leader Lauren Book said, “At the end of the day, we are all we have.” “We’re all here to help each other. We have to get better. We have to be stronger. We need to toughen up.”
When asked about how bad things were for her party on Monday, Book tried to stay upbeat. She said that members would try to find something they had in common with Republicans and that she hoped there would be plenty of chances.
“We’ve all been talking about home insurance, how much it costs, how much housing costs, and housing for workers,” she said. “Those are things we’ve been working on that both parties agree on.”
There are also many different points of view. This year, Republicans passed new laws about how to teach about sex and race, controversial immigration reform, and a ban on abortions after 15 weeks. Some GOP members said they could go further in the 2023 session after the election night wins.
Sen. Blaise Ingoglia, R-Spring Hill, said earlier this month, “This is a mandate that they like what we’re doing here in Florida.” “There’s a reason why so many people move to this state.”
More restrictions on abortion are still the main worry of the minority party. Democrats have said they will fight any plan that comes up, and there are rumours that Republicans are thinking about a 12-week ban.
Fentrice Driskell, who will take over as House Minority Leader, hoped that national political headwinds on abortion would save her party.
“Abortion was on the ballot in five states around the country,” she said. “Even Kentucky, much redder than Florida, voted to protect. People in Kentucky did, too. So I think Governor Ron DeSantis has put himself in a tough spot.”
Floridians will see how this new group of lawmakers works together in the coming weeks. Members are expected to meet again next month, probably the week of December 12, for a special session on property insurance.