New Florida, DeSantis Laws Take Effect

New Florida, DeSantis Laws Take Effect

Grayson Bakich
Grayson Bakich
July 2, 2023

Several new Florida laws have become have now gone into effect, including permitless carry, anti-environmental social governance (ESG) standards, anti-diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives, and expansion of the Parental Rights in Education law. Other laws seek to confront illegal immigration, Big Tech censorship, and purchasing of Florida land by foreign entities.

Permitless carry met fierce resistance when Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL) signed HB 453 into law in April, with Representative Darren Soto (D-FL) calling the legalization of permitless carry "a terrible setback."

"Gov DeSantis’ new permitless concealed carry law is a terrible setback that will cost many more lives to gun violence and put law enforcement at risk," said Rep. Soto.

Representative Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick (D-FL) used stronger language in her comments on HB 453's passage, claiming Gov. DeSantis "abandoned his duties as a governor, father, and leader," imploring God to "have mercy" on Gov. DeSantis for signing the bill.

"The Governor signing this legislation is a signal to all Americans that he has completely abandoned his duties as a governor, father, and leader to protect our children and our country. May God forgive him for this moment," said Rep. Cherfilus-McCormick.

House Bill 3, which eliminated ESG in Florida, was signed by DeSantis in May, where he called ESG initiatives a means of controlling society outside of the political process because "This vision is not a vision that usually can win elections."

"This vision is not a vision that usually can win elections. And so they want to go around that process and they want to use economic power to impose this agenda on our society," said DeSantis.

Similarly, Senate Bill 266, which killed DEI in Florida colleges and universities, was also signed in May. DeSantis tore into DEI initiatives in the signing event in Sarasota, saying it better stood for "discrimination, exclusion, and indoctrination."

Finally, the expanded Parental Rights in Education law prohibits teaching about sexual orientation or gender identity from pre-K to 8th grade, which was met with fierce resistance from LGBTQ groups in April.

Equality Florida leader Joe Saunders called the bill "a tool for curating fear, anxiety and the erasure of our LGBTQ community" while the Human Rights Campaign called it part of a "slate of hateful anti-LGBTQ+ bills."

Defenders such as Education Commissioner Manny Diaz Jr., meanwhile sought to clarify what was considered "instruction" on LGBTQ topics.

"In the K-12 space, instruction is pretty clear. It has been deemed by courts that the state has complete authority, and that belongs to this board here, and we have standards. So, instruction has to coincide with standards," said Diaz.

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Grayson Bakich

Grayson Bakich

Florida born and raised, Grayson Bakich is a recent recipient of a Master’s Degree in Political Science at the University of Central Florida. His thesis examined recent trends in political polarization and how this leads into justification of violence.

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