From PBC NOW’s Legislation Director, James Bonfiglio:
Hello all. We are close to the end of Florida’s 2021 regular legislative session, so there is a lot to report on. Here is the latest update on legislative issues of interest to PBC NOW members to review:
Florida Senate will have a women leading the Democrats for the rest of the 2021 session. In a surprise move, the FL Senate Democratic Caucus voted Sen Lauren Book to replace the current Democratic caucus leader Sen. Gary Farmer for the rest of this session. Sen. Book will also lead the Dem. Senate Caucus for the 2022 session. For more information click here:
Florida will address the new 30 year Gambling Compact signed by DeSantis and the Seminole tribe in a May 17, 2021 special session. This is a woman’s issue because women seem to be more and more addictive to gambling. See attached: WOMEN_GAMBLERS_FACTS. A bit of irony here because the new compact allows the Seminoles to add table games like blackjack and craps and allows sports betting. Oddly enough the Nov. 2018 Constitutional ballot initiative supported by $24.35 million from the Seminoles and $20.56 million from Disney Worldwide Services and approved by 71.47% of voters would make the compact unconstitutional without voter approval, according to No Casinos. For more information click here:
The sprinkle list is what Capitol insiders call the last-minute budget items used to sweeten the pot and provide funding for some pet products. Each year, legislative leaders withhold some money from the budgeting process until the end: “used to sprinkle one last helping of hometown projects into the budget in order to get a budget deal done.” Leaders agreed on about $350 million for local projects, from youth organizations and educational programs to rail safety and law enforcement. Also, lawmakers decided to provide an additional $1.2 million to increase the salaries of some state agency heads. See if there are any projects that may affect you.