The Legislature will hold two days of committee meetings this week, kicking off the run-up to the 2023 Legislative Session.
After last month’s Special Session delayed the start of the usual interim meetings — and after New Year’s and Gov. Ron DeSantis’ inauguration postponed the work week — lawmakers will reconvene in Tallahassee on Wednesday for introductory meetings.
Each legislative term, the first interim meetings are historically reserved for committee members to get a rundown of their panels’ tasks and goals for the new Session. Agencies also start outlining their proposals and initiatives for the new year.
Lawmakers were set to meet Dec. 12-16 for the first week of interim meetings. However, legislative leaders instead called a Special Session, replacing the usual order of events with meetings and floor sessions to pass legislation on property insurance, hurricane recovery and toll relief.
As the day after New Year’s, Monday is considered a state holiday. And on Tuesday, the state is celebrating the start of DeSantis’ second term.
Six Senate committees and 16 House subcommittees are slated to meet throughout the day Wednesday. Two Senate Appropriations subcommittees, one House committee, seven House subcommittees and one joint panel are set to gather Thursday before lawmakers depart later that day.
Among the panels meeting this week are two new select committees, the Senate Select Committee on Resiliency and the House Select Committee on Hurricane Resiliency & Recovery. Senate President Kathleen Passidomo and House Speaker Paul Renner announced the creation of the panels last year as lawmakers look to guard the state from rising sea levels and future storms.
Kevin Guthrie, Director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management, and Wesley Brooks, Florida’s Chief Resiliency Officer, are set to address the Senate panel on Wednesday.
Other Senate committees will hear from state officials, like those from the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Florida Housing Finance Corporation (FHFC). FHFC oversees the implementation of the state’s affordable housing initiatives, which Passidomo has named as a priority for her tenure as Senate President.
Several panels meeting this week are chaired by freshmen Republican lawmakers.
The first committee to meet this week will be the Senate Agriculture Committee, led by freshman Sen. Jay Collins. Among the other panels meeting Wednesday are the Senate Education Pre-K-12 Committee, chaired by freshman Sen. Corey Simon, and the Senate Community Affairs Committee, chaired by freshman Sen. Alexis Calatayud.
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