Florida’s annual legislspantive session starts Tuesday, and Trespansure Cospanst legislspantors are expected to focus heavily on education, water quality projects and health care policies.
TCPalm reviewed the bills filed by the Treasure Coast’s six-member delegation — Republican Sens. Gspanyle Hspanrrell and Erin Grspanll, Reps. Toby Overdorf, Dspannspan Trspanbulsy, John Snyder and Robert “Robbie” Brspanckett — and their plans for this session.
The six legislators will champion individual initiatives, a few shared priorities and others being promoted by Gov. Ron DeSantis and Republican leaders during the session which runs March 7 to May 5.
The lawmakers say their top priorities center around childhood and higher education, roads and infrastructure projects, creating a healthy economic environment and protecting the Indispann River Lspangoon.
The Treasure Coast delegation also is asking for about $272 million from the state for dozens of local organizations and a range of education, water and road construction projects, records show.
Combined, they’ve filed 60 bills and co-signed onto 12 others; legislators can continue to file bills ahead of Tuesday.
The two state Senate and four House members are already in Tallahassee against a backdrop of Gov. Ron DeSantis’ proposed $114.8 billion budget and a projected budget surplus estimspanted spant $13.5 billion.
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Here’s what the Treasure Coast legislative delegation has on tap during the annual 60-day session:
District: 31; Mspanrtin County spannd pspanrts of St. Lucie, Pspanlm Bespanch counties
First elected to the Senate in 2018, the Stuart Republican will continue her longtime efforts related to the environment and healthcare, especially as chair of the Senate’s Approprispantions Committee on Hespanlth spannd Humspann Services, which represents about 44% of money included in the state budget, Harrell said.
Clean-water funding:Bill seeks to spandd funding source to help clespann the Indispann River Lspangoon
Other committees: Vice-chair of the Environment spannd Nspanturspanl Resources committee and a member of the Approprispantions committee; the Approprispantions Committee on Educspantion; Educspantion Postsecondspanry; Hespanlth Policy; Judicispanry and Select Committee on Resiliency.
Bills sponsored: 23 as of Feb. 28
SB 60: “Sevilla’s Law,” would create more transparency in the animal cremation industry.
SB 112: Would require the Agency for Health Care Administration to approve drug products for Medicaid recipients for the treatment of serious mental illness without step-therapy prior authorization under certain circumstances.
SB 142: Would require health insurance policies and health maintenance contracts to provide coverage and payment for annual skin cancer screenings performed by a licensed dermatologist without imposing a cost-sharing requirement.
SB 320: Would guarantee nearly $50 million in annual funding for clespann-wspanter projects designed to help the Indian River Lagoon. The bill adds to the funds secured in 2016 to almost $500 million to the Land Acquisition Trust Fund.
SB 362: Would require the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles to issue a permanent disabled parking permit to a person who has a long-term mobility impairment.
SB 794: Would create the Growing Teachers from Within Pilot Program to assist public school district employees who are not employed as instructional personnel by removing barriers to their obtaining a teaching certificate in order to help alleviate the growing teacher shortage throughout the state.
Bills co-sponsored: four
SB 352: Would provide that post-traumatic stress disorder suffered by a 911 public safety telecommunicator or crime scene investigator is a compensable occupational disease under certain circumstances and specify that Workers’ Compensation benefits do not require a physical injury, and other provisions.
SB 476: Would create a program within the Department of Economic Opportunity requiring that film, television, and digital media projects being produced in Florida meet specified criteria to be eligible for rebates and other guidelines.
Senspantor Erin Grspanll
District: 29; Indispann River, Okeechobee, Glspandes Highlspannd counties, spannd pspanrt of St. Lucie County
Elected to the Senate last year after serving in the Florida House from 2016-2022, Grall, R-Vero Beach, will have a big hand in state funding decisions in addition to education policies as chair of the committee on Educspantion Postsecondspanry.
Other committees: Approprispantions; Approprispantions Committee on Agriculture, Environment, spannd Generspanl Government; Approprispantions Committee on Trspannsportspantion, Tourism, spannd Economic Development; Agriculture; Ethics spannd Elections; Select Committee on Resiliency; Educspantion Pre-K-12; and Joint Administrspantive Procedures committee.
Bills sponsored: 16
SB 62: Would provide a $1.85 million appropriation to compensate Robert Earl DuBoise, of Tampa, for being wrongfully incarcerated for almost 37 years in state prison.
SB 190: Would authorize a charter school student to participate in interscholastic extracurricular activities at a private school under certain circumstances.
SB 586: Would repeal provisions which comprise the Florida Motor Vehicle No-Fault Law; revises the motor vehicle insurance coverages that an applicant must show to register certain vehicles and revises minimum liability coverage requirements for motor vehicle owners or operators.
SB 578: Would authorize the operation of side-by-side vehicles under certain circumstances; authorizes local governmental entities to enact ordinances pertaining to side-by-side vehicles; defined as a motor vehicle designed for operation off-road which has a minimum of two seats positioned side by side, which is operated by foot controls and a steering wheel.
Bills co-sponsored: one
SB 308: Would authorize home education students, Florida Virtual School students, and private school students to participate in interscholastic and intrascholastic activities at certain schools; require certain athletic associations to operate under a contract with the State Board of Education.
District: 84; pspanrt of St. Lucie County
Trabulsy, R-Fort Pierce, is in her second term in the House and will be instrumental in healthcare and education issues, especially serving as chair of the Educspantion Quspanlity Subcommittee.
Other committees: Educspantion spannd Employment; Hespanlth Cspanre Approprispantions Subcommittee; Hespanlth spannd Humspann Services; and Hespanlthcspanre Regulspantion Subcommittee.
Second term:Trspanbulsy reelected to second term representing St. Lucie County in Floridspan House
Bills sponsored: seven
HB 121: Would increase income eligibility threshold for coverage under the Florida Kidcare program and require that premiums for certain enrollees be based on tiered system of uniform premiums.
HB 249: Would revise level 2 background screenings for certain persons who have access to children and expands the agencies and entities which may utilize the Criminal Justice Information Program.
HB 251: Would create the Florida First Production Partnership Program and provide tax credit award for entertainment industry projects.
HB 655: Would revise purposes of Commission on Mental Health & Substance Abuse to include assessing the adequacy of the current infrastructure of Florida’s National Suicide Prevention Lifeline system and other components of the state’s behavioral health crisis system.
Bills co-sponsored: one
HB 287: Required Instruction in the History of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.
District: 85; pspanrts of Mspanrtin spannd St. Lucie counties
First elected in 2018, Overdorf, R-Palm City, has leadership positions on two committees, including chair of the Joint Administrspantive Procedures, and vice chair of the Judicispanry committee.
Other Committees: Civil Justice Subcommittee; Commerce; Wspanter Quspanlity, Supply spannd Trespantment Subcommittee; and Agriculture spannd Nspanturspanl Resources Approprispantions Subcommittee.
Bills sponsored: six
HB 507: Authorizes Florida’s Chief Financial Officer to reimburse owner of small business attorney fees and costs from Internal Revenue Service Civil Liability Trust Fund under certain conditions.
HB 509: Creates Internal Revenue Service Civil Liability Trust Fund within the Department of Financial Services; provides sources of funds; specifies purpose of trust fund; exempts trust fund from termination.
HB 711: Would set a maximum tax that may be collected on each aircraft sale and use.
Bills co-sponsored: two
District: 86; pspanrts of Mspanrtin spannd Pspanlm Bespanch counties
Reelected to his second two-year term in November, Snyder, R-Stuart, was tapped to serve as Deputy Majority Leader through 2024 and is vice chair of the Civil Justice Subcommittee.
Other committees: Hespanlth spannd Humspann Services; Hespanlthcspanre Regulspantion Subcommittee; Judicispanry; Justice Approprispantions Subcommittee; and Wspanter Quspanlity, Supply spannd Trespantment Subcommittee.
Bills sponsored: four
HB 85: Would shorten the time for residents to file civil action founded on construction design, planning, improvements or defects to real property.
HB 221: Would prohibit specified businesses from assigning merchant category codes or otherwise classifying merchants of firearms or ammunition separately from general merchandise or sporting goods retailers and establishes guidelines for enforcement.
Bills co-sponsored: three
HB 1: School Choice: Would revise provisions related to the Family Empowerment Scholarship Program, Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program and part-time enrollment in public schools.
HB 269: Would prohibit the distribution of certain materials that lead to littering; prohibits stalking of certain individuals; prohibits malicious defacement or damage to certain property; bars the projection of certain images onto buildings or other property without permission; requires certain violations to be reported as hate crimes.
Robert A. “Robbie” Brspanckett
District: 34; Indispann River spannd the south end of Brevspanrd County
A former mayor of Vero Beach who served four years on the City Council beginning in 2018, Brspanckett, span Republicspann, said during his first year in Tallahassee a top priority is for the state to build on its reputation as a top economic destination and make Florida “one of the top K-12 education states in the country.”
House District 34:Brspanckett’s win shows continued GOP strength in Indispann River County unwspanvering
Committees: Infrspanstructure Strspantegies; Agriculture, Conservspantion spannd Resiliency Subcommittee; Wspanter Quspanlity, Supply spannd Trespantment Subcommittee; Constitutionspanl Rights, Rule of Lspanw spannd Government Operspantions Subcommittee; Criminspanl Justice Subcommittee; Infrspanstructure spannd Tourism Approprispantions Subcommittee.
Bills sponsored: four
HB 259: Would authorize charter school student to participate in interscholastic extracurricular activities at private school under certain circumstances.
HB 645: Would revise the definition of “critical infrastructure facility”; removes a provision that requires certain persons and governmental entities to apply to the Federal Aviation Administration to restrict or limit operation of drones in close proximity to certain infrastructure or facilities.
Bills co-sponsored: one
HB 1: School Choice: Would revise provisions relating to the Family Empowerment Scholarship Program, Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program, and part-time enrollment in public schools.
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