FL Senate 2024 – SB Updates

The regular session is finally over, having finished March 8th. It was a bizarre session. Before I get into the recap of the bills I was watching, we have some things to discuss.

First, Senate President Kathleen Passidomo’s husband passed away suddenly in April. While we may not see eye-to-eye on political issues, we can still extend our heartfelt condolences and healing to her and their family. Losing a loved one is always difficult and I wish nothing but the best to them during their grief.

Second, let’s talk some stats.

2024 FL Senate Session Stats
Died in Committee/Messages603Passed, Enrolled61
Died on Calendar14Sent to Secretary of State6
Laid on Table178Signed by Governor55
Withdrawn20Awaiting Signature17
Filed, Not Considered5
Total Failed Passage820Total Passed139
Percent Failed820/959
Percent Passed139/959

Compare to the 2023 and 2022 sessions:

2023 FL Senate Session Stats
Died in Committee/Messages549Passed, Enrolled15
Died on Calendar11Sent to Secretary of State6
Filed, Not Considered5Signed by Governor149
Laid on Table162
Total Failed Passage734Total Passed170
Percent Failed734/904
Percent Passed170/904
2022 FL Senate Session Stats
Died in Committee/Messages705Passed, Enrolled25
Died on Calendar11Sent to Secretary of State7
Filed, Not Considered7Signed by Governor133
Laid on Table86
Total Failed Passage817Total Passed165
Percent Failed817/982
Percent Passed165/982

To be clear, there are a small handful of bills that I found difficult to locate the status of. They largely don’t skew the statistics that far out of line with what has already been calculated, but I did want to be up-front about that. It’s difficult to find every bill when you’re unable to download the raw information.

That said, if these were grades, the Florida legislature would be failing. While the goal of legislature is not to pass as many bills as possible, it sure seems as if the goal is to at least propose as many as possible and let them die. The legislative equivalent of not studying the night before and winging it on the final exam.

I bring this up to showcase just how many bills there are and just how many of them we never get to find out about. Sometimes we hear of them being introduced, we often hear about them passing and being signed, but we never hear about the vast majority of them that die in their first committee. Or the ones that sit on the table in favor of more “pressing matters” so that our legislators don’t have to make a decision about them.

To be clear, I’m not suggesting that Florida is exceptional in this or in any way outside of the norm. No, in this, Florida is in line with many states across the nation. It’s common for legislators to cram as many bills as possible into a single session and for those bills to die as soon as they’re filed, essentially. It’s an epidemic that has become endemic to the legislative body, a disease that prevents well-thought bills from actually making it through the process in favor of those bills that legislators believe will get them re-elected or curry favor with their governor.

But let’s move on, shall we?

Given the above numbers, you likely wont be too surprised to find out that the vast majority of the bills I was watching died in committee. Only 2 managed to make it into law.

First up, SB 1680 – The Advanced Technology Government Modernization Oversight Council
This bill sought to create a council to study and monitor the development and deployment of artificial intelligence. The final bill proposes that the council be made up of:
– The Lt Governor
– State CIO
– Secretary of Commerce
– Secretary of Health Care Admin
– Secretary of Transportation
– Executive director of Department of Law Enforcecment
– 5 appointed “industry expert” representatives (3 appointed by the Governor, 1 by Senate appointment, and 1 by House appointment)
– And one chair from each chamber, appointed by the Senate President or House Speaker
Tacked on, right at the end, is the criminalization of AI generated child pornography. It sets out that making or “intentionally viewing” (as defined in Statue 827.071) is a third degree felony, punishable under the same statues that actual child pornography is.
Overall, it’s a palatable bill and I have little to say about it. In the end it only changed out a few members and removed some others, namely the State Surgeon General and Chief Inspector General. Otherwise, the bill largely seems unchanged from when it was filed.

Next, SB 1746. This was Senator Ingoglia’s bill to fix last sessions SB 256. It, essentially, does the following:
– makes the same exemptions for transportation workers, EMTs, firefighters, paramedics, and 911 operators that police officers and correctional officers got in the original SB256.
– removes the requirement that the bargaining unit submit an audited yearly financial report. Instead they may just submit a report that has been prepared by a CPA.
– clarifies that bargaining units must submit their applications for renewal 30-days before they are due to expire.
– at the end, it allows for bargaining units that could not meet the requirements for SB256 to resubmit their renewal with an annual financial report (that does not need to be audited) and instructs PERC that it may not deny renewal/registration to those bargaining units that could not comply last year.
While this is great news for the unions that represent our essential workers, it’s still a loss overall for the public employee unions. They still need to meet the 60% dues paying members, every year, in order to be certified by PERC. More on that in another post, though, since there have been some updates on the AFSCME lawsuit since we last spoke about that.

Overall, it was an average session. I’m sure that I undoubtedly missed something monumental being passed. How could I not when over 900 bills get proposed every session?

If I missed something that you want more attention brought to, let me know in the comments! I would love to hear from you about what issues you find important so I can keep an eye out for any future legislation of interest. Until next session, stay safe and sane!


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