Florida Post-Session Update

March 18, 2022

Pardon Our Dust

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The 2022 Florida legislative session adjourned sine die March 14, 2022. Originally expected to adjourn on March 11, legislators were forced to extend the session to vote on the budget. 

The final 2022-23 state budget totals just over $112 billion, the largest in Florida’s history and 10 percent higher than the current year, thanks to an influx of federal dollars. Total federal stimulus funds account for about $3.5 billion of the overall budget. 

2022-23 appropriations highlights include:

  • $1 billion in pay raises for state workers and contractors
  • $400 million to expand broadband in rural areas
  • $80 million for a new state emergency operations center
  • $200 million to supplement a monthlong gas tax holiday
  • $1.4 billion for college and university facilities maintenance
  • $115 million for state capitol complex renovations
  • $300 million to expand the Rural and Family Lands Protection Program
  • $885.9 million for Everglades restoration
  • $782.4 million for water quality improvements
  • $125 million for a wastewater grant program
  • $100 million for Lake Okeechobee water storage wells
  • $168.7 million in Florida Forever Land Acquisition Program spending 
  • $200 million to increase pay for elder care facility staff
  • $250 million for teacher pay raises
  • $100 million in down payment assistance for teachers, healthcare workers, law enforcement and other public service positions

After six interim committee weeks and 63 days in session, lawmakers passed a total of 285 bills, just under 8 percent of the total bills filed in 2022. Some in the media have called 2022 “the year of the culture wars,” while Gov. Ron DeSantis and legislative leaders have described it as “the year of the parent” or “year of the family.” 

So, what passed?

  • Elimination of Florida state standards assessments in K-12 (SB 1048)
  • Creation of Charter School Review Commission (SB 758)
  • School board term limits (SB 1467)
  • Parental rights in education (HB 1557)
  • Medicaid managed-care reform (SB 1950)
  • Net-metering/rooftop solar reform (SB 741)
  • Telehealth expansion (SB 312)
  • COVID-19 liability protection extensions (SB 7014)
  • Lake Okeechobee water release reform (SB 2508)
  • Election security (SB 524)
  • Individual freedom (Stop WOKE Act) (SB 7)
  • 15-week abortion ban

What didn’t pass?

  • Consumer data privacy protection (HB 9)
  • Condo inspection/building safety (SB 1702)
  • Property insurance reform (1728)
  • Personal injury protection repeal (1525)
  • Sovereign immunity (HB 985/SB 974)

Of the 285 bills agreed upon by both chambers, the only issues required to pass were the budget and new House, Senate and congressional maps. House and Senate maps passed without much fanfare. After much back and forth, the legislature passed SB 102 (the state’s new congressional map), against the wishes of DeSantis, who had released his own congressional map. 

The governor has vowed to veto SB 102; assuming he does, the legislature will need to convene a special session before the June 13 qualifying deadline. It is expected that the special session call will include additional issues, with data privacy being the most likely.

Once legislative officers present a bill to the governor, he has 15 days to sign, veto or let it become law without his signature.

To learn more about what happened during the 2022 session, contact McGuireWoods Consulting’s Florida team.