2020 Legislative Session

Florida's New Pelvic Exam Law Causes Uncertainty

Jul 19, 2020
Lauren Book in the legislature
News Service of Florida

A new state law aimed at protecting patients from unwanted pelvic exams - sparked by reports of women being subjected to exams while they were under anesthesia - has created uncertainty for physicians and nurses.

Congressional Candidate Reports Break-In At Florida Campaign Headquarters

Jul 6, 2020
Police have their guns drawn

Political intrigue overshadowed a congressional election in Florida on Monday, after a leading Republican candidate reported a mysterious, late-night break-in to her campaign headquarters.

Governor Ron DeSantis signed a slew of bills into law over the last several weeks. For some, like the state budget, DeSantis held press conferences and photo ops.

When the governor signed a controversial E-Verify bill into law Tuesday, there was no such pomp and circumstance. Immigrant advocates noticed.

E-Verify is a federal system created by the Department of Homeland Security that checks a new hire’s eligibility to work in the U.S., an effort to prohibit the hiring of undocumented workers.

Gov. DeSantis Signs Controversial Abortion Parental Consent Bill

Jun 30, 2020
Gov. Ron DeSantis at the podium

Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a controversial bill Tuesday requiring underage girls to obtain consent from a parent before they can have an abortion, lauded as one of his legislative goals during the election year.

Gov. DeSantis Signs Controversial Abortion Parental Consent Bill

Jun 30, 2020
Gov. Ron DeSantis at the podium

Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a controversial bill Tuesday requiring underage girls to obtain consent from a parent before they can have an abortion, lauded as one of his legislative goals during the election year.

Enterprise Florida Eyes Overseas Trade Efforts

Jun 8, 2020
Construction in downtown Tampa
Daylina Miller / WUSF Public Media

Enterprise Florida intends to ramp up marketing and business recruitment during the coming year to try to offset the state’s record job losses from the coronavirus pandemic.

Incoming Florida Senate President: Special Legislative Session Unnecessary

May 10, 2020

The incoming president of Florida's Senate is pushing back on the idea of recalling the Legislature to the Capitol for a special session to deal with economic consequences of the pandemic, the upcoming elections or other matters.

Here Are 10 Big Issues From The 2020 Florida Legislative Session

Mar 21, 2020

Florida lawmakers finished the 2020 legislative session Thursday by passing a $93.2 billion budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1.

Sam Thomas/Fresh Take Florida

Tucked away in a central Florida cul-de-sac of houses coated in pastels, sits a grey marker resembling a headstone. It honors the memory of black people who once called this town their home.

Efforts To Change Prison Sentences Failed In Florida's Capitol

Mar 15, 2020
Dianne Hart speaking to a crowd

As Florida's Legislature finishes its work in the Capitol, efforts fizzled that seemed promising just weeks ago to reduce prison sentences for non-violent offenders and otherwise reform the state's broken prison system.

Bryan Avila listening

A slimmed tax-cut package is heading to Gov. Ron DeSantis, after lawmakers late Friday sought to bolster state reserves that could be needed as the novel coronavirus damages tourism and other key industries.

As The 2020 Session Ends, How Did Florida's LGBTQ Bills Fare?

Mar 13, 2020
Pride flag at parade

As Florida’s legislative session nears its conclusion, it’s shaped up to be a tough year for LGBTQ residents and their supporters.

State House Cleared, Disinfected After Coronavirus Scare

Mar 10, 2020
people in protective clear clean desks in Florida House

Clad with face masks, black rubber gloves and protective aprons, cleaners furiously scrubbed the Florida House chamber Monday after Speaker José Oliva announced that some lawmakers had attended events where other participants subsequently tested positive for the novel coronavirus, known as COVID-19.

Kelli Stargel, R-Lakeland

After it appeared the House and Senate had agreed on spending $500 million to increase teacher salaries, the Senate on Sunday proposed increasing the amount to $600 million.

Florida lawmakers are working on a plan to allow college athletes to earn money for their name, image and likeness. The move comes after California created a path for college athletes to be compensated, forcing the NCAA to consider making changes. Now with a week left in session, lawmakers in the Senate are questioning whether any potential loopholes in the bill would give universities an advantage in recruiting.

Florida Leaders Okay $25 Million For Coronavirus

Mar 8, 2020
Florida legislature

House and Senate leaders announced Saturday they have agreed to Gov. Ron DeSantis’s request for $25 million to help the state combat the spread of the novel coronavirus, known as COVID-19.

two men talk, one with his hand raised to make a point
Florida House of Representatives

House Speaker José Oliva on Saturday blasted a plan that would give Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration the power to randomly audit private businesses to ensure they are not hiring undocumented workers.

Florida Lawmakers Resolve Key Budget Issues

Mar 8, 2020
list of Florida facts on overhang in Capitol building
News Service of Florida

As Florida lawmakers inch toward a budget deal, House and Senate leaders on Saturday announced they had reached agreement on a number of key issues, including pay raises for state workers, funding for Visit Florida and leaving intact the affordable-housing trust fund.

University Merger Plan 'Abandoned'

Mar 7, 2020
glass, dome shaped building
Robin Sussingham / WUSF

A short-lived, yet high-profile, fight to merge New College of Florida and Florida Polytechnic University into the University of Florida died Friday in the state House.

House Speaker Jose Oliva told reporters the chamber “abandoned” the proposal after the Senate refused to go along with the consolidation plan.

In 1920, African-Americans in Florida organized a voter registration movement ahead of a presidential election. In Ocoee, a white mob retaliated against black voters by killing some and burning their property, causing most black residents in the area to flee. Almost 100 years later, lawmakers want that history to be remembered and taught in Florida schools, museums and recognized in a state park.

DeSantis Sides With Senate In Heated E-Verify Debate

Mar 6, 2020
Sen. Tom Lee listening

Gov. Ron DeSantis is backing the Senate in a heated fight over E-Verify, a move that could tip the scale in a contentious immigration battle as the 2020 legislative session draws to a close.

A bill aimed at making Florida schools safer just passed a full chamber vote in the House. The proposal includes penalties for school officials and adds members to a school safety committee, among other changes.


Florida is getting closer to imposing stiffer fines for bear poaching and expanding rules against shark “finning.”

Senate President Bill Galvano says Florida legislative leadership is in talks with Governor Ron DeSantis about an emergency appropriation to fortify agencies working to combat the spread of coronavirus. Galvano didn’t give many details, but told reporters after Tuesday’s floor session the specifics are being worked out.

A bill allowing the state to preempt local governments on nearly all aspects of regulation concerning short-term vacation rentals, like Airbnb, has stalled in the Florida Senate.

New Law To Ensure All Florida Officers Are Allowed To Park Marked Cars At Home

Feb 24, 2020

Some Florida law enforcement officers aren’t allowed to park their marked cars at home – but that’s about to change.

the florida house of representatives
Governor's Press Office

As the 2020 legislative session dwindles down to the final weeks, the Florida House has yet to consider an E-Verify proposal that is one of Gov. Ron DeSantis top priorities.

Florida House Cracks Down On Domestic Violence Agency

Feb 22, 2020
Florida House of Representatives

The Florida House on Thursday voted to repeal a law that requires the state to contract with a domestic violence non-profit organization, amid a bipartisan outcry from lawmakers and investigations into the former agency head’s compensation.


Proponents and critics reacted strongly to the Florida Legislature’s passage of a measure that will require minors seeking an abortion to get their parents' approval.

Florida Legislature Passes Bill Requiring Minors To Get Parental Consent For Abortions

Feb 20, 2020

Minors who seek abortions would be required to obtain parental consent or convince judges to waive the requirement under a bill that received final legislative approval Thursday and has the support of Gov. Ron DeSantis.