JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Florida lawmakers kick off their first round of committee meetings ahead of the 2024 legislative session Tuesday.
While we haven’t seen any major policy announcements just yet, we’re starting to get an idea where lawmakers’ priorities may lie.
House Minority Leader Fentrice Driskell (D-Tampa) said she’s expecting health care to be front and center, with the Senate President indicating she plans to make it one of her areas of focus in 2024.
“But I have a feeling that it’s not going to include policies that actually make Floridians’ lives better like the ones we just talked about including Medicaid expansion,” Driskell said.
Governor Ron DeSantis also acknowledged during a press conference in Jacksonville Monday, health care would likely be a big topic of conversation in 2024.
But he didn’t go into detail about what policies considerations may be on the table.
“Right now, we have an iron triangle where you have Big Pharma, big insurance companies and big government and the patient is in the back of the bus on this,” DeSantis said.
On what other priorities the Governor plans to pursue this year, DeSantis is playing his cards close to his chest, at leats for the time being.
“Over probably the next weeks we will be rolling out some good stuff. So, stay tuned,” DeSantis said.
Last legislative session saw a tidal wave of conservative legislation passed including universal school choice, a six-week abortion ban and permitless concealed carry.
Driskell said with DeSantis running for President, she wouldn’t be surprised to see the Governor continue pushing for more headline-grabbing policies that continue pushing Florida further to the right.
“We can expect that there will be some culture war-type bills, so that he can get you know, whatever stunts or media attention that he decides that he wants,” Driskell said.
Lawmakers will hold six more rounds of committee weeks before the end of the year.
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The 2024 Florida Legislative Session will officially get underway on Jan. 9.