DeSantis Touts ‘Free State’ of Florida, Dems Rebut


Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) gave his State of the State speech from the Florida House of Representatives and touted Florida as one of the freest states in the country.

“Florida has become the escape hatch for those chafing under authoritarian, arbitrary and seemingly never-ending mandates and restrictions,” DeSantis said.

DeSantis highlighted Florida’s starkly different COVID response than much of the country saying “we were right” and “they were wrong.”

“While so many around the country have consigned the people’s rights to the graveyard, Florida has stood as freedom’s vanguard,” he said. “Florida has become the escape hatch for those chafing under authoritarian, arbitrary and seemingly never-ending mandates and restrictions.”

Governors often use their speech at the beginning of the legislative session to lay out their priorities for lawmakers to consider and DeSantis did the same this week. DeSantis is proposing a nearly $100 billion budget including: relief from the state’s gas tax with a $1 billion tax holiday, bonuses for teachers, pay bonuses for law enforcement, restricting abortion access, expanding gun rights, and passing the Anti-W.O.K.E. Act.

Florida Democrats offered their rebuttal saying Florida’s Republicans are out of touch with Floridians.

“Republicans have been running the show for 20 years, and where has it gotten us? Out-of-touch politics focused on culture wars instead of real issues facing real Floridians,” said State Sen. Lauren Book (D District-32).

State Sen. Jason Pizzo (D-District 38) was also a part of the response.

“Twenty-one million Floridians deserve strong leadership that promotes freedom and fairness. The GOP agenda takes it away from them,” Pizzo said.

Potential gubernatorial Democrat challenger to DeSantis, Congressman Charlie Crist (D-FL-13), said “Floridians are hurting.”

“Today, Gov. DeSantis is delivering the State of the State. Since he took office he’s pushed a partisan agenda that’s made Floridians poorer, sicker and more divided than ever,” Crist said on Twitter. “But I believe in our future — together, we’re going to build a Florida where the people come first.”

Florida’s lawmakers began the 2022 legislative session this week and it will run until March.

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Grant Holcomb is a reporter at The Florida Capital Star and The Star News Network. Follow Grant on Twitter and direct message tips.
Photo “Ron DeSantis” by Gage Skidmore. CC BY-SA 2.0. Background Photo “Miami” by tsreptilien.




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