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Tuesday, January 14th, marks the beginning of the 60 day 2020 legislative session.  Negotiating the budget for the fiscal year starting July 1st is the only constitutionally required bill that must pass each session.  Governor Ron DeSantis (R) proposed a $91.4 billion budget for the upcoming fiscal year.  He included raising teacher salaries to a minimum of $47,500 a year and also focused again on a number of environmental issues.  While the Governor proposes a suggested budget each year, it is the Legislature that ultimately determines the final budget for the state.  In addition to the budget, legislators will consider a number of other issues.  Here are some of the issues to watch during the session:

EDUCATION: Governor DeSantis proposed a $602 million plan to set minimum teacher salaries at $47,500 in addition to a new $300 million bonus program for teachers and principals.  Legislative leaders have been cool to these plans so far.  Some have expressed concern that local authority for setting teacher salaries being would be eliminated under these plans.

ENVIRONMENT: Expect the Legislature and Governor DeSantis to continue their focus on addressing water-quality issues, especially toxic algae booms and red tide.  Everglades restoration and water-related projects are central to solving these concerns.

HEALTH CARE: Reforming the healthcare industry is Speaker Jose Oliva’s, R-Miami Lakes, top priority.  Expect the House to continue pushing to allow advanced practice registered nurses to provide care independently of physicians.  While the House is keen on these ideas, the Senate has opposed similar proposals in years past.  Several bills have also been filed to make changes related to pharmacy benefit managers, which serve as middlemen between drug manufacturers and pharmacies and increase the costs to consumers.

INSURANCE: The insurance industry is lobbying for a proposal that would prevent auto-glass shops from offering incentives for motorists to make windshield-repair claims – an issue which has been hard fought in past sessions.

We look forward to a successful 2020 Legislative Session. If you have questions please contact our Government Affairs Practice.

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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.

About Gunster

Gunster, Florida’s law firm for business, provides full-service legal counsel to leading organizations and individuals from its 12 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, The Florida Keys, Vero Beach, and its headquarters in West Palm Beach. With nearly 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.

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