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Capitol Reports » LWVFL Capitol Report: October 27, 2021

LWVFL Capitol Report: October 27, 2021

October 27, 2021

Charging Through 2022’s Committee Weeks

While the 2022 Legislative Session does not begin until January 11, 2022, committee meetings have started in preparation for the annual lawmaking session. There are typically six committee weeks prior to the Legislative Session beginning, three of which have already taken place!

These three weeks of hearings for the various legislative committees (September 20-24, October 11-15, October 18-22) that have transpired have all been introductory and informative in nature with practically no legislation being heard, hence the combined reporting of them in this edition of our Capitol Report.

During these three committee weeks, a vast number of presentations have been given from various agencies and organizations across the state, many of these presentations long over due because of COVID-19’s impacts on last year’s lawmaking session.

Approximately 3,000 bills will be introduced between now and January 11. Out of those, about 300 will become law. The League is currently monitoring approximately 80+ bills.

The Fight for Fair Districts Continues

This year’s session is quite unique because of the decennial redistricting process following the Census count. After the Census, each state’s number of Members of Congress in the U.S. House of Representatives is recalculated based on the current population. Florida’s population grew by 2.9 million residents, giving the state one additional Representative (from 27 to 28). The Florida State Legislature redraws the state’s U.S. Congressional districts to reflect its number of Representatives. It also redraws its State House and State Senate districts.

The League has monitored the presentations given in the various committees across the broad array of policy focused committees but has had a specific laser focus on the 6 committees related to the redistricting process.
Senate Reapportionment Committee
Senate Select Subcommittee on Congressional Reapportionment
Senate Select Subcommittee on Legislative Reapportionment
House Redistricting Committee
House State Legislative Redistricting Subcommittee
House Congressional Redistricting Subcommittee

Florida League President Cecile Scoon has testified in regards to redistricting a number of times and can be watched on the Florida Channel at the links below.
September 20, 2021 Meeting
October 11, 2021 Meeting

A Special Legislative Session?

On October 21, Governor DeSantis made a sudden announcement calling for a special legislative session to impose restrictions regarding federal COVID-19 vaccine mandates. The Speaker of the House and Senate President then released this joint statement.

The League believes attacking businesses and local governments doing everything they can to keep citizens safe is plain wrong. This special session could cost taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars, put our state’s economic recovery at risk and endanger the lives of millions of Floridians. The League stands opposed. If the session should come to fruition, we are prepared to act accordingly.

League of Women Voters of Florida 2022 Legislative Priorities

In Case You Missed It: As a result of receiving legislative priority ballot choices from 28 out of 29 of our local Leagues, we received a very clear understanding of what our members think the priorities should be.

First, Voting and Redistricting, which were predetermined and are the closest aligned with our core mission. Following those two important areas, the remaining four of our six priorities as voted upon by our Leagues are the following: Reproductive Health & Justice, Education, Health Care and Natural Resources. None of these four issue areas are weighed more importantly than the other.

The selection of our yearly “legislative priorities” means that we will focus most of our efforts in these areas, but we expect and request all League members to continue to work on what motivates them the most.

In addition, if something important that is outside of our six legislative priorities is raised by our legislators this session, our state League is poised to pivot and get involved in the appropriate ways.

The League of Women Voters of Florida encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy. The League of Women Voters of Florida Education Fund works to register voters, provide voters with election information through voter guides as well as candidate forums and debates.

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