There probably never have been a more beneficial sessions of the Florida Legislature than the one just concluded and two that preceded it this year.
Fifty years ago, I covered my first session of the legislature after covering the police, courts and local government. It was different, to say the least.
The most striking feature was how Democrats dominated the three branches of government, and how little they seemed to care for the people of Florida. They were fueled by power.
It was all about taxing and spending.
The only thing that saved the day was they were split into liberal and conservative. That was the time when there was such a thing as a conservative Democrat and they kept the liberal faction from absolute rule.
In the past 25 years, as the state has matured, Republicans have gained ascendance over the Democrats and this year it paid off in spades.
As a result of this year’s legislative sessions, Florida now leads the nation in school choice. Every parent can choose either a public or private school.
Anyone can carry a concealed weapon without a permit. Credit card companies no longer can track gun purchases. Financial institutions cannot discriminate on the basis of religion, politics or social beliefs.
Taxes were slashed by $2 billion. Significant tort reform took place. The state government bucked the powerful Disney company, which had put politics above its entertainment function. Housing may become more affordable.
Legislators approved $12 million to transport invaders to other parts of the nation so that liberals can demonstrate their tolerance.
In the all-important arena of culture, state and local governments now are banned from using “ESG” factors in contracting and investing decisions. Last year’s Parental Rights Law was broadened. Abortions cannot take place after six weeks. Sex-change operations for minors are illegal. Divisive diversity, inclusion and equity initiatives are prohibited in universities. Drivers licenses issued to people who have invaded America are no good.
Gov. Ron DeSantis, who supported most of the beneficial legislative activity, enjoys high approval ratings – despite vicious, non-stop attacks by the state’s leftwing media.
A few Democrats even joined Republicans in passing some of the things on the governor’s list, such as banning central bank digital currencies.
A few things were left on the table, but Florida definitely is on the right track and its politicians are working for the people.