By Florida Legislature
In coordination with the Governor’s Office and the Florida House, we have identified several
issues that warrant our attention in advance of the 2023 Regular Session. As such, Speaker
Renner and I plan to convene the Legislature in Special Session B, beginning on Monday,
February 6. General information regarding anticipated special session bills and sponsors is
outlined below, and an updated schedule for the next two weeks is attached to allow for
Schedule Updates: My goal in creating the updated schedules was to make use of existing
committee blocks, where possible. The Governor’s recommended budget is scheduled to be
heard in the full Committee on Appropriations on Tuesday and in the subject-matter
appropriations committees on Wednesday afternoon. To accommodate special session meetings, we will reschedule the Wednesday afternoon meetings for next week. I encourage all Senators to monitor the presentation of the Governor’s recommended budget in the full Committee on Appropriations this week, so you can be prepared for presentations in the subject-matter appropriations committees next week.
Special Session Bills:
• Emergency Management – Leader Albritton will file legislation to provide additional
resources to support ongoing relief and recovery for communities impacted by
Hurricanes Ian and Nicole. The bill will include additional funding for the Governor’s
Emergency Response and Preparedness Fund, as well as funding for a Local Government
Bridge Loan Program within the Department of Economic Opportunity. The Bridge Loan
Program is particularly important to Leader Albritton, to Senator Martin and to me
personally, given the financial challenges following Hurricane Ian that are facing several
of the communities we represent. I will refer the bill to the Committee on Fiscal Policy.
• Statewide Prosecutor – Last year we created the Office of Elections Crimes and
Security to establish a framework for law enforcement to investigate violations of
elections laws. The State Constitution affords the Statewide Prosecutor concurrent
jurisdiction with the state attorneys to prosecute certain violations of criminal laws that
impact multiple jurisdictions. State law generally provides the office with the ability to
prosecute election crimes. Senator Martin will sponsor legislation clarifying the Office of
Statewide Prosecution jurisdiction to prosecute crimes involving elections for a federal or
state office, and petition activities. The bill will be referred to the Committee on Fiscal
• Illegal Immigration – Executive Order 23-03 outlines the current efforts the Executive
Branch is undertaking to respond to the influx of migrants landing in the Florida Keys.
To help mitigate the ongoing impacts of unauthorized aliens coming to the State of
Florida, Senator Ingoglia will sponsor legislation to create the Unauthorized Alien
Transport Program within the Division of Emergency Management to facilitate the
voluntary transport of unauthorized migrants who have been processed by the federal
government and released into the United States. I will refer the bill to the Committee on
• Intercollegiate Athletics – In 2020, under the leadership of Senator Hutson, Senator
Mayfield, and others, Florida was proactive in creating legislation which governs how
college athletes can be compensated for use of their names, images and likenesses.
However, the recent enactment of NCAA regulations regarding athlete compensation has
put many states with such laws at a disadvantage, causing a need for Florida to revisit our
current law. While college sports are not high on my list of priorities when compared
with the many other serious issues we must address each session, sporting events do
contribute greatly to our local economies and the sense of community in many parts of
the state; therefore, I recognize the need to address this issue in a timely manner, so our
university teams can remain competitive.
Senator Hutson filed Senate Bill 200 for consideration during the 2023 Regular Session,
which is noticed for a hearing in the Committee on Postsecondary Education on
Wednesday. Senator Hutson is working with the House sponsor, Representative
LaMarca, on legislation for the special session, which will be referred to Rules.
Local Bills: As you may be aware, local bills originate in the House, do not need a Senate
sponsor, and are typically adopted in the Senate via a consent calendar. However, to provide time for discussion on legislation (outlined below) relating to special districts dissolved during Special Session 2022C, I will utilize the discretion permitted under our Rules to refer these local bills to the Committee on Rules. As the most senior member of the Senate, Senator Hutson will present the local bills in committee and on the floor.
• Reedy Creek Improvement District – The Senate will receive from the House a local
bill to revise the governance and powers of Reedy Creek Improvement District, while
protecting local taxpayers from the District’s debts.
• Sunshine Water Control District – The Senate will receive from the House a local bill
reauthorizing the Sunshine Water Control District.
• Eastpoint Water and Sewer District – The Senate will receive from the House a local
bill making revisions and reauthorizing the Eastpoint Water and Sewer District.
Additional Committee and Floor Planning: Bills outlined above on Emergency Management,
the Statewide Prosecutor, and Illegal Immigration will be heard in the Committee on Fiscal
Policy on Tuesday, and will be considered on the floor Wednesday afternoon.