TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/AP) — The Florida Legislature is beginning its 60-day session Tuesday with new legislative leaders and a new governor.
There’s also a long list of issues to be tackled ranging from medical marijuana, abortion, immigration, election laws, education and of course, passing a state budget to fund the government.
Legislators gathered Tuesday to open the session but have already been meeting in committees for weeks on issues ranging from smokeable medical marijuana to enhanced environmental protections to broadened vouchers for students to attend private schools at taxpayer expense.
In his first State of the State address, new Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis focused on economic issues, the environment, education, public safety and government accountability.
Tuesday’s speech follows a whirlwind pace of policy announcements since DeSantis took office two months ago.
He’s stressed the need to address algae blooms, red tide and rising sea levels, proposed major changes to the education system and demanded that medical marijuana be more accessible.
DeSantis has enjoyed positive approval ratings since taking office as he’s pushed issues that transcend party politics. But he’s also stuck to conservative policy positions like opposing so-called sanctuary cities and pushing for an expansion of school vouchers.
Only a handful of bills will actually pass. The must-pass budget begins with a $91.3 billion blueprint proposed by DeSantis.
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