The Florida 2020 Legislative Session is "a Go." What You Need to Know Now.
Like clockwork, the annual Florida Legislative Session has begun. This year it opened on January 14, 2020. Here is the Florida Senate’s description of the ‘rule’ of the Session’s timing:
The Florida Legislature meets in session every year for sixty consecutive days. A regular session of the legislature shall convene on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in March of each odd-numbered year, and on the second Tuesday after the first Monday in January of each even-numbered year. There are other ways in which the Legislature may be convened as outlined in Article III, Section 3, of the Florida Constitution, including special sessions, which may be called either by the Governor; or by a joint proclamation issued by the Senate President and House Speaker. An extension of regular session or special session requires a three-fifths vote of each house. (Underlining was added.) 1
The ‘Session’ has been covered in this series before 2 …and will be again.
This year, like preceding years, there will be a number of predictable and unpredictable topics. We can expect that the state’s budget will be addressed. It has to be; the budget is the one required topic to be covered. Other issues which appear in the offing are: 3
- Education – A ‘hot topic’ for Governor DeSantis. Expect to see teacher pay and bonuses, school funding, and college athlete pay
- Environment – Another gubernatorial priority; including climate change, sea level, water quality
- Criminal justice – Including officer compensation, felon voting
- Business and development – Including tourism, housing, insurance
- Elections – Including Constitutional Revision Commission, security, national popular vote
- ‘E-Verify’ system
- Guns – Including mental health, background checks, assault weapons ban, weapons on campus
- Health – Including vaccines, developmental disability funding, e-cigarettes, ‘medical marijuana’
- Infrastructure – Including broadband, water and sewer systems
- Online sales tax
- Tort reform
- And more…
The reason “unpredictable” was also used above is because history and facts can sometimes drive a Session’s agenda. For example, the February 14, 2018 Parkland shooting occurred during that year’s Session, which then certainly altered the tone of and agenda for that year’s House and Senate activities and output. It can also be reasonably predicted that this year’s Session will have some fluidity to accommodate the upcoming federal and state general election season.
It is, then, important for Florida’s individuals, families, and businesses to keep regularly updated with developments on the topics covered during the Session. And here is how, with a number of ‘free’ resources:
- The Florida Channel
- Florida House of Representatives calendar
- Florida House of Representatives filed bills
- Florida House of Representative YouTube channel
- Florida Senate Legislative Session general information
- Florida Senate Session calendar
- Florida Senate filed bills
- Florida Senate updates
- Florida Senate YouTube channel
But ‘wait, there is more’. Here are a few ‘key players’ in the Legislative Session:
”This year, like preceding years, there will be a number of predictable and unpredictable topics.
Now that should provide grist for the mill to follow during the next several weeks. This column will be staying on top of the Session and reporting back as interesting topics arise…
A pleasant disclosure: The writer of this piece is the proud father of a Florida House of Representative Intern.
2 See https://www.boginmunns.com/floridas-2019-legislative-session-begins-this-week/, https://www.boginmunns.com/annual-budget-in-play-have-your-say/. Source references to the Florida Constitution are contained in those articles. Several other articles have dealt with specific issues and outcomes; to see them all please visit
3 Sources: https://wusfnews.wusf.usf.edu/post/key-issues-entering-2020-florida-legislative-session, https://www.floridatrend.com/article/28500/the-issues-floridas-2020-legislative-preview?page=1
– For more information, call Philip N. Kabler of the Gainesville, FL office of Bogin, Munns & Munns at 352.332.7688, where he practices in the areas of business, banking, real estate, and equine law. He has taught business and real estate law courses at the University of Florida Warrington College of Business Administration and Levin College of Law and is the President-Elect of the Eighth Judicial Circuit Bar Association.
NOTICE: The article above is not intended to serve as legal advice, and you should not rely on it as such. It is offered only as general information. You should consult with a duly licensed attorney regarding your Florida legal matter, as every situation is unique. Please know that merely reading this article, subscribing to this blog, or otherwise contacting Bogin, Munns & Munns does not establish an attorney-client relationship with our firm. Should you seek legal representation from Bogin, Munns & Munns, any such representation must first be agreed to by the firm and confirmed in a written agreement.