We have new day! What an exciting time it is to live in Florida and to be a part of an incredible team in the Senate. We are winning battles that your Senator has long been a part of, and it is very encouraging to see us finally having this much success on so many different fronts.
Just this week, the Florida Senate voted to pass a comprehensive bill that would protect Florida’s youth from dangerous gender altering surgeries and treatments. Specifically, the legislation prohibits harmful and irreversible gender reassignment procedures or prescriptions for children and adolescents in Florida. Additionally, the legislation strengthens doctor-patient consultation requirements for adults who seek these same treatments and prohibits the use of telemedicine to ensure that patients are fully informed on the risks associated with these treatments.
The Senate also tackled the issue of social media safety. Senate Bill 52 has flown through all three of its committees and is ready for a floor vote soon. This legislation requires that the Florida Department of Education create age-appropriate social media safety curriculum and that individual school boards notify parents of this curriculum. Social media safety curriculum will ensure that students in grades 6-12 better understand the social, emotional, and physical effects of social media. Through this curriculum, students will be educated on topics such as addiction, mental health, oversharing of personal information, human trafficking, and many other risks associated with social media.
Additionally, the bill requires that each school district prohibit the use of social media when connected to internet provided by the school. This will ensure that students are focused on educational content when they enter the classroom.
By the time this column reaches you, we will have likely wrapped up budget negotiations between the House and Senate, but we did want to provide a quick look at the product that we put on the table.
The Senate’s proposed budget includes $500 million allocated to the Emergency Preparedness and Response Fund, over $400 million for workforce development programs, and $711 million for affordable housing programs as established in Senate Bill 102, the “Live Local” Act. These critical investments into Florida’s future will ensure that we are prepared to react and respond to emergency situations, better equipped to build a robust workforce, and able to provide quality housing to all who live and work in our great state. The Senate’s budget also makes key investments in transportation, environmental and clean water infrastructure while also setting aside historic state reserves and providing record tax relief to combat inflation.
Thank you for your continued engagement in your government and for investing your energy in helping us continue to protect faith, family, freedom, opportunity and life.
Onward & Upward,