We have reached the midpoint of the 2016 Legislative Session with 1,847 bills officially filed and working their way through the process. With the majority of the subcommittees completing their work last week, several bills are expected to die. Issues may come back as amendments attached to other germane bills.
Both chambers passed major pieces of legislation during the first week of the session. Senate President Andy Gardiner’s (R-Orlando) top priority, CS/HB 7003 regarding persons with unique abilities, and House Speaker Steve Crisafulli’s (R-Merritt Island) top priority, CS/CS/SB 552 regarding water policy, were signed into law by Governor Rick Scott on January 21st. Additionally, a top education bill, CS/SB 672, was signed by the Governor on the same day. Links to those bills can be found here:
CS/CS/SB 552 Environmental Resources
CS/HB 7003 Individuals with Disabilities
The Legislature has passed thirteen other bills, but has yet to send them to the Governor for consideration.
Tax Cut Tour by Governor
In his State of the State address to kick off the 2016 Legislative Session, Governor Scott announced he would be taking a nine city bus tour called “Million Miles for a Million Jobs” to highlight his $1 billion tax cut proposal and $250 million Enterprise Fund. The tour ran from January 13-15th and visited Jacksonville, Melbourne, Miami, Naples, Orlando, Sarasota, Tampa, the Villages and West Palm Beach.
The Senate and House passed their respective budget proposals this week. With almost a one billion dollar difference between the Senate ($80.9B) and House ($79.9B) versions, the two chambers must resolve outstanding issues during the Budget Conference later this session. Here is a breakdown of the total dollars by subject area:
|Criminal Justice||$ 4,427,605,608||$ 4,415,780,850||$ 4,432,969,475|
|Agriculture/Consumer Services/ Environment||$ 3,578,555,152||$ 3,673,390,893||$ 3,464,428,876|
|Transportation/Economic Development||$10,023,891,142||$10,005,191,399||$ 9,949,307,421|
|General Government||$ 5,139,464,122||$ 4,426,859,622||$ 4,505,306,010|
|Judicial||$ 533,777,883||$ 498,991,355||$ 513,150,534|