Florida legislative session means good news for families

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From protecting life, strengthening families, honoring law enforcement, improving government accountability and providing tax relief for working families, the legislature continues to deliver on what we promised: a strong economy, safe streets, quality schools, low taxes and a balanced budget.

In the House of Representatives, I was proud to lead the debate on several important initiatives, including HB 287 (Evidence Tampering), SB 1950/HB 7047 (Statewide Medicaid Managed Care), HB 1467 (K-12 Education), and HB 703/SB 520 (Postsecondary Education Executive Searches), with the last two bills already signed into law by Gov. Ron DeSantis.

When evidence is fabricated or tampered with in the investigation of capital crimes, HB 287 will raise the penalty from a third-degree felony to a second-degree felony. This ensures that in the most heinous and violent cases, the punishment for thwarting justice truly does fit the crime.

Meanwhile, Florida is about to begin the statewide procurement of our $36 billion Medicaid Managed Care Program. When Gov. DeSantis’ Agency for Health Care Administration asked for updated laws to ensure your tax dollars are being spent wisely and efficiently, the legislature delivered. SB 1950/HB 7047 won’t make media headlines but gives the Governor’s team the needed tools to ensure Florida’s four million Medicaid enrollees receive the highest quality care at the lowest possible price. Of course, education is the foundation upon which economic success is built, from K-12 to our state colleges and universities. Florida students deserve the best, and that means ensuring our schools’ leaders are accountable to parents for decisions that impact our kids. HB 1467 will ensure K-12 instructional materials remain unbiased, focused on student success and have passed rigorous review. HB 703/SB 520 allows our colleges and universities to compete on a level playing field and recruit the absolute best and brightest to lead them.

Perhaps most importantly, HB 1467 also imposes statewide term limits on school board members. This is a major step toward my personal goal of seeing term limits at every level of government in Florida and someday, God willing, the U.S. States Congress.

In the end, the Florida Legislature passed a balanced budget of $112.1 billion that includes broad-based tax relief for working families in areas ranging from diapers to school supplies, outdoor recreation, and disaster preparedness. It also includes record emergency reserves of $8.9 billion to ensure we are prepared for whatever mother nature may have in store.

As always, thank you for the honor of representing the citizens of Clay County in the Florida House.

Rep. Sam Garrison represents Clay County in House District 18 and was first elected to office in 2020. He serves on the House Health and Human Services Committee, the Civil Justice and Property Rights Subcommittee, the Health Care Appropriations Subcommittee and others. Rep. Garrison is slated to become House Speaker in 2026.

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