Session kicked off on Tuesday with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis delivering the State of the State Address to a joint session of the Florida Legislature. DeSantis highlighted Florida’s low unemployment rate, phenomenal #1 ranked public university system, low crime rate, and commitment to no state income tax. The Governor also reflected on the success of the 2019 legislative session and his initiatives for the 2020 session. Key points from Governor DeSantis’s 2020 initiatives are:
- Committing to lower taxes and fiscal responsibility, “Florida needs to tax lightly, spend wisely and regulate reasonably.”
- Funding water resource projects at $625 million recurring for three years.
- Passage of the comprehensive water quality legislation including a roadmap to reduce nutrients in our water to fight overpopulation of blue-green algae.
- Holding parties responsible for wastewater spillage by raising penalties and encouraging water infrastructure updates.
- A multifaceted education initiative including recruiting and retaining great teachers, promoting school choice and measuring results through accountability.
- Recommending raising the salary for public school teachers to $47,500.
- Replacing the Best and Brightest bonus program that will be both equitable and generous.
Working with Commissioner Corcoran on replacing Common Core with strong standards including a high-quality curriculum, streamlined testing and a renewed emphasis on American Civics.
Team Gunster Attends AIF Reception
The Gunster team attended the Associated Industries of Florida’s annual pre-session reception. This reception brings together legislators and stakeholders from around the state to celebrate the beginning of the 2020 legislative session.
Florida TaxWatch Dinner 2020
Gunster Government Affairs Consultant Ron Brisé attended the State of the Taxpayer Dinner, where Attorney General Ashley Moody discussed her initiatives for the 2020 legislative session. Speakers included CFO Jimmy Patronis, Senator Jose Javier Rodriguez, Chairman Paul Renner, Secretary Chad Poppell and Executive Director Ken Lawson. The annual dinner hosts elected leaders to discuss the issues that will impact taxpayers over the next year.
State Budget Watch
The General Revenue Estimating Conference increased the estimate of general revenue collections by $306.0 million in the current year and $86.0 million in fiscal year 2020-2021, totaling an estimated $33.2 billion collected this year. This will increase the money available to the 2020 State Legislature for the next budget. Read the Executive Summary
House Bill 207 Passes First Committee
House Bill 207: Acquisition of Water and Wastewater Systems, unanimously passed the first committee stop in House Energy & Utilities on Wednesday. HB 207 is Fair Market Value legislation providing better access to low-cost capital for infrastructure improvements that may be needed for acquired systems. Learn more on the Florida House of Representative site.
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This publication is for general information only. It is not legal advice, and legal counsel should be contacted before any action is taken that might be influenced by this publication.
Gunster, Florida’s law firm for business, provides full-service legal counsel to leading organizations and individuals from its 11 offices statewide. Established in 1925, the firm has expanded, diversified and evolved, but always with a singular focus: Florida and its clients’ stake in it. A magnet for business-savvy attorneys who embrace collaboration for the greatest advantage of clients, Gunster’s growth has not been at the expense of personalized service but because of it. The firm serves clients from its offices in Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, Palm Beach, Stuart, Tallahassee, Tampa, Vero Beach, and its headquarters in West Palm Beach. With over 200 attorneys and 200 committed support staff, Gunster is ranked among the National Law Journal’s list of the 500 largest law firms and has been recognized as one of the Top 100 Diverse Law Firms by Law360. More information about its practice areas, offices and insider’s view newsletters is available at www.gunster.com.