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Get the latest coverage of the 2024 Florida legislative session in Tallahassee from our coverage partners and WUSF.

Florida professor describes what to expect from the 2024 legislative session

The Florida Legislature via News Service of Florida
The Florida Legislature via News Service of Florida

Jan. 9 is the start of Florida's annual legislative session. Aubrey Jewett, political professor at UCF, breaks down some of the bills to watch this year.

Florida lawmakers meet in Tallahassee Tuesday, January 9 for the start of the annual legislative session. Gov. Ron DeSantis released his recommendations for the 2024 budget, which totals more than $114 billion.

Back to the bread and butter

Typically leading up to the annual legislative session, Gov. Ron DeSantis is very outspoken about the issues he wants to tackle, but that's not the case this year, according to Aubrey Jewett, a political science professor at the University of Central Florida.

"I presume that's because Gov. DeSantis has really been focused on his presidential run. He's been out of the state as often as he has been in the state. So with that said, I think we're going to actually see the legislature, the legislative leaders and committee chairs have a little more say in the agenda for the legislature."

Jewett said that means lawmakers can get back to the "bread and butter" issues that Floridians are actually concerned about.

"So instead of those controversial social issues, I think they're going to be looking at things like health care, education, the environment."

A few bills to watch

Both bills look to prevent minors under the age of 16 from having social media accounts. "In certain cases, they want to make sure that social media companies are doing a better job tracking the ages of people who are trying to use that," said Jewett.

  • SB 850: Artificial Intelligence in Political Advertising

"If somebody were to run a political ad that was AI generated, and particularly if it used images that weren't really true, then the ad would technically have to list and say that this was AI generated," said Jewett.

  • Live Healthy Initiative: A proposal to grow Florida's Health Care Workforce

"Passidomo is proposing some steps, such as to try to shift people away from our emergency rooms, if they can get care elsewhere," said Jewett. "Also to try to produce more doctors, get more doctors to stay and to come to Florida to practice because there's a doctor shortage."

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Talia Blake