Florida Legislature, DeSantis Wrap up Most 'Effective Session in State History'

AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack

The Florida State Legislature wrapped up its 2023 session on Friday, with one Twitter influencer saying: “You may not agree with everything they did and DeSantis signed, but I don’t think anyone can dispute this is the most effective session in state history.” From the perspective of a true conservative, I can’t disagree.


As reported by Florida Voice, a variety of bills were passed by the legislature’s Republican supermajority and signed into law by Gov. Ron DeSantis, who, during a bill-signing on Tuesday, thanked lawmakers for being “productive” off the heels of his blow-out 2022 re-election. It was accompanied by a red wave in Florida — in contrast with the red trickle suffered nationwide by the GOP in the midterms.

We’ve done so much stuff this year to lead the country as is… We’ve got a lot more in the hopper that we will be signing in the law over the next few weeks. I think what we’ll be able to say when the dust settles – with the budget, and the legislative, and all the bills – that there’s never been a bolder and more productive six months in the history of the state of Florida in terms of really delivering on big promises.

Florida Senate President Kathleen Passidomo (R-Naples) echoed the governor’s words:

I am proud that with the tireless work of our Senators, and strong partnerships with the Florida House and Governor DeSantis, we are concluding today having passed significant legislation in nearly every area of public policy, along with a balanced budget, meaningful tax relief for families and seniors, and historic reserves.

As is the case in 40 other states, Florida’s legislature is part-time. While sessions vary from state to state, Florida lawmakers meet just 60 consecutive days, which suggests that when they go to work, they get busy.


So, whether or not DeSantis is your guy in 2024, it’s hard to dispute the effectiveness of his leadership, in conjunction with the legislature’s Republican supermajority — regardless of “other GOP candidates” who would have Republican voters believe that Florida under DeSantis has become a virtual hell hole that a majority of Floridians detest. Yeah, no — facts are stubborn things, but I digress.

Here’s a partial list of major accomplishments of the legislature and Gov. DeSantis, via Florida Voice:

  • Six-week abortion ban: DeSantis signed the bill into law in mid-April. “We are proud to support life and family in the state of Florida,” DeSantis said.
      • “I applaud the Legislature for passing the Heartbeat Protection Act that expands pro-life protections and provides additional resources for young mothers and families.”
  • Permitless carryThe law allows people to conceal a firearm without needing a permit from the government.
      • Citizens would still be able to receive a concealed weapons permit in the state if they so choose. It would allow them to qualify for the protection of interstate concealed carry reciprocity agreements.
  • Illegal immigration crackdown: The legislation makes changes to E-Verify, adds more money for an illegal immigration transportation program and increases penalties for human smuggling.
      • It includes $12 million from the general fund for an illegal immigration program that DeSantis used to send migrants to Martha’s Vineyard last year.
  • Penalties on businesses that admit kids to “adult live performances”The legislation came after multiple drag shows were caught on video performing sexual dances in front of children, as documented by Florida’s Voice.
      • The legislation would authorize Florida to fine, suspend, or revoke the license of any public establishment that admits a child to “adult live performances” that depict or simulate nudity, sexual conduct, or lewd exposure.
  • Death penalty for child rapists: “If you commit a crime that is really, really heinous, you should have the ultimate punishment,” DeSantis said at a bill signing.
  • Enhanced penalties for fentanyl dealing: “They need to be treated like murderers, because they are murdering people,” the governor said at the bill signing.
  • Lowering the jury threshold for the death penalty: This priority was sparked by the verdict for the Parkland shooter, which resulted in life in prison.
      • At the bill signing, DeSantis was joined by several Parkland parents.
      • The law reduces the number of jurors needed to administer the death penalty from unanimous to now eight out of twelve.
  • Parental rights law expansion to PreK-8: The bill prohibits school teachers from teaching sexual orientation or gender identity from grades PreK-8.

Again, regardless of who you support for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, the above doesn’t suck — nor does it suggest Ron DeSantis is an “average Republican governor,” or that Florida “continues to tumble into complete delinquency and destruction.”

Why, you’d “almost” think that “some people” feel threatened as hell by the prospect of a Ron DeSantis 2024 presidential campaign — even before the wildly popular Florida governor announces his intentions.

Go figure.

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