Week Two Update from the Florida Senate
Below are a few highlights from the second week of the 2023 Legislative Session in the Florida Senate:
SB 202: “Funding Students, Not Systems” Passed with Favorable Committee Support
Senator Corey Simon presented Senate Bill 202 in the Senate Appropriations Committee where it passed with strong committee support. SB 202 establishes universal school choice across Florida, ensuring that students receive an education that meets their unique needs.
This legislation expands Florida’s educational voucher program and allows every student to receive an education in a setting fit to their own individual needs.
SB 202 puts parents in the driver’s seat regarding their child’s education, provides parents and students with the full array of educational opportunities, and ensures that a child’s future is not determined by their zip-code.
The next stop for SB 202 is the Senate Floor.
SB 254: “Protecting Florida’s Most Vulnerable” Passed with Favorable Committee Support
Senator Clay Yarborough presented Senate Bill 254 in the Senate Committee on Health Policy where it passed with significant committee support. Senate Bill 254 provides critical protections for Florida’s youth from harmful gender reassignment procedures and prescriptions.
The legislation prohibits gender reassignment prescriptions or procedures for any patient under the age of 18. Additionally, SB 254 requires informed consent for patients over the age of 18 to ensure the adult patient is fully informed by their physician of the increased risks and the permanency of gender reassignment procedures and prescriptions. Further, this legislation prohibits the use of certain state funds to fund gender reassignment prescriptions or procedures.
The next stop for SB 254 is the Senate Fiscal Policy Committee.
SB 240: “Reimagining Workforce Development” Passed Unanimously with Committee Support
Senator Travis Hutson presented Senate Bill 240 in the Senate Committee on Pre K–12 Education where it passed with unanimous committee support. SB 240 reimagines and revitalizes workforce development programs hosted within Florida’s schools.
Through a comprehensive approach, incorporating local businesses, community boards, and public schools, this legislation expands opportunities for middle and high school students to receive valuable career training while still enrolled in a Florida public school.
SB 240 revises current high school graduation requirements to place a specific emphasis on educational curriculum that is focused on technical education and career training. Additionally, this legislation establishes a program that allows local businesses to assess the job market for their specified region and collaborate with local schools to ensure that roles found to be of a greater need are greater emphasized in our educational system.
The next stop for SB 240 is the Senate Fiscal Policy Committee.
SB 264: “Defending Florida from Foreign Threats” Passed with Favorable Committee Support
Senator Jay Collins presented Senate Bill 264 in the Senate Judiciary Committee where it passed with strong committee support. SB 264 prohibits foreign adversaries and companies funded by adversaries from purchasing agricultural land in the State of Florida.
Due to the growing threat of the Chinese Communist Party’s attempts to weaken America’s national security through strategic land purchases, it is critical that we protect the health of our agriculture industry. SB 264 ensures that America’s enemies will be strictly prohibited from purchasing agricultural land in the State of Florida. This is a crucial step to protect Florida’s food supply and broader security interests.
The next stop for SB 264 is the Senate Committee on Rules.
SB 736: “Tackling the Fentanyl Crisis” Passed with Unanimous Committee Support
Senator Jason Brodeur presented Senate Bill 736 in the Senate Committee on Criminal Justice where it passed with unanimous committee support. Senate Bill 736 adds Nitazenes, synthetic opioids similar to Fentanyl, to the list of Schedule 1 controlled substances.
As the Fentanyl crisis continues to threaten millions of Floridians each day, it is critical that the legislature take a proactive approach to ensure that we limit the negative impact of synthetic drugs that are flooding into our state through the southern border.
The legislation ensures that our law enforcement agencies across the state have the necessary tools to cease the distribution of Nitazenes and hold those accountable who are distributing this poison in our communities.
The next stop for SB 736 is the Senate Fiscal Policy Committee.