Fri. May 20th, 2022

Gov. Ron DeSantis continued this week to sign into law some of the measures Florida’s Republican-led Legislature passed this session, but thousands of bills died in Tallahassee and never made it to the governor, including some on notable issues.

In the House and Senate, lawmakers proposed 3,685 pieces of legislation, but only about 285 passed in both chambers, slightly higher than the number since at least 2016, according to legislative records. 

Lawmakers passed a $112 billion state budget, as the session ended after votes on controversial legislation aimed at cultural issues unsettled between conservatives and progressives. 

DeSantis signed a bill Thursday banning most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. Other new Florida laws ban instruction or conversations about sexual orientation or gender identity in some elementary grades, and allow parents to sue public schools if students were made to feel uncomfortable over lessons about historical events because of their sex or race.

Here’s a partial list of what lawmakers didn’t do during their 60 days of work.

click to enlarge

illustration by Daniel Rodriguez

Didn’t reform property insurance

Lawmakers didn’t tackle reforms over property insurance for homeowners, who have seen premiums surge ahead of hurricane season. Some insurance companies have pulled out of Florida, putting upward pressure on prices. Some policies have doubled in cost.

Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, and other lawmakers have formally asked that the Legislature consider the subject when it reconvenes next week for a special session to consider new congressional maps for Florida. Nothing has been set to happen yet.

Didn’t increase building safety

Months after the collapse of the Champlain Towers South condominium building in June killed 98 people in South Florida, lawmakers couldn’t agree on any new laws requiring mandatory inspections of such buildings — or how homeowners could be compelled to pay for necessary repairs — to prevent another disaster. 

One bill died when the sponsors of the respective Senate and House bills, Sen. Jennifer Bradley, R-Orange Park, and Rep. Daniel Perez, R-Miami-Dade, could not agree on terms..

That bill would have established mandatory building inspections for all multi-family residential buildings three or more stories in height. The inspections would be performed once the building reaches 30 years old and then every 10 years. For buildings within three miles of the coast, the milestone inspection would be performed once the building reaches 20 years and then every seven years.

The bill also tried to compel building associations to establish reserves to fund critical maintenance. Negotiations between the bill sponsors broke down when …….


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