Though the 2022 Florida legislative session doesn’t officially begin until January 11, 2022, lawmakers are already meeting in pre-session committee meetings. Interim committee weeks began Monday, September 20th and will run through December 3rd. These “interim committee meetings” are where the work of creating new legislation and determining priorities begins, so it’s an important opportunity for advocates to influence the legislative process.
State lawmakers have also already begun filing bills. As of September 20, 164 bills have been filed. During the 2021 session more than 3,000 bills filed with 275 passing both chambers and 267 becoming law. According to JD Supra, “Floridians can expect the legislature to readdress many priority issues from 2021, including workforce development, charter schools, literacy, and DNA privacy.”
In addition to the crucial issues debated every year (i.e. health care, education, housing), all eyes will be on the budget process and redistricting. The only requirement of lawmakers each session is to pass a budget. This current fiscal year’s totals $101.5 billion. According to state economists, tax collections for the year have totaled $2.6 billion more than expected. The state also has nearly $6 billion in unspent federal coronavirus stimulus money. It remains to be seen how lawmakers will use this additional flexibility. The Legislature will also begin the once-every-decade redrawing of Florida’s congressional districts. Due to our population growth, Florida now has a 28th congressional seat.
All On The Line: Learn how Floridians can get involved in the redistricting process.
Read more: Important Florida Legislative Session Dates