The Lounge🍊—1.20.2024—Week 2 of the 2024 Legislative Session in the Books—DeSantis Hobbles on After Iowa—More...

The Lounge🍊—1.20.2024—Week 2 of the 2024 Legislative Session in the Books—DeSantis Hobbles on After Iowa—More...

Lounging around with a cocktail in one hand, and a cigar in the other

Liv Caputo
Liv Caputo
January 20, 2024

James Madison Institute

In the wake of Gov. DeSantis' staggering defeat in Iowa, Florida pushes on; continuing their rapid-fire slew of novel legislation in the second week of the 60-day Legislative session.

From a sprawling defamation bill to felonies for child groomers to reworked child labor laws, Florida lawmakers made sure to cover it all.

In addition, the Floridian scored two exclusive interviews with top legislators, gaining new insight into party views on DeSantis' 30-point loss to Donald Trump in Iowa.

This week's newsletter highlights a change in "zombie drug" legality, social media bans, education alternatives, political AI use, and much more. Lawmakers and lobbyists alike have been thrust into the limelight, and this newsletter aims to unveil it all.

On DeSantis' loss:

Rep. Alex Rizo: "Gov. DeSantis' leadership has been demonstrated over the last five years of his being Governor in Florida. It has been second to none to any other governor in the United States...As far as the polling, the polling also showed he was third in Iowa, and that's not the way it ended up. I would say you got to be in it to win it."

Sen. Shevrin Jones: "I think Gov. DeSantis should have done a better evaluation prior to him jumping in the race on his winnability. I think he should have also looked more at what Florida needed at that time and looked at the progression and the upward mobility of Floridians, rather than the progression--or the lack thereof--of the upward mobility of himself."

On Abortion:

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio: "We must never forget that protecting unborn human beings is the moral core of the pro-life movement. The debate over abortion is ultimately a clash of values—about justice, plain right versus wrong."


Sen. Lauren Book: "We are in arms reach of getting abortion on the ballot and restoring the rights they stole

The Loungers


Chris Minor-You said you’d “never let go.”

Ten years later, here we are.

Cheers to 40 Under 40 @AA_Malave

Justin Sayfie- 28th graph of 29 graph story, we learn that the Biden administration is refusing to secure GOP support for aid to Ukraine because it wants to maintain its authority to allow migrants who try to enter the US illegally to stay & work in the US

Lawrence Mower-NEW: Florida Republicans have long worked to shed policies at state-run Citizens Property Insurance.

But with Floridians still struggling to find homeowners insurance — despite lawmakers' reforms — they're now looking to allow more people to get Citizens.

Paul Renner-Congratulations to our stellar Comms Director, @AA_Malave, on his designation in Florida’s 40 Under 40: Rising Stars. Well deserved and very proud of him and our House comms team!

Florida International University
Florida International University

In the News-Tallahassee

'The Republican Party is the Party of Trump': FL Lawmakers React to DeSantis' Loss in Iowa

In two exclusive interviews with The Floridian, Democrat Sen. Shevrin Jones and Republican Rep. Alex Rizo responded to Gov. Ron DeSantis' 30 point loss at the Iowa Caucus. As Democrats point at America's rejection...READ MORE

'The Closest Thing to the Devil': Florida Child Groomers Could Face a Second-Degree Felony

A new bill defining and punishing child-grooming passed House committee Friday afternoon, branding offenders with a second-degree felony. If the bill becomes law it would make Florida the first state...READ MORE

Bill Regulating Ai Use in Political Ads Opposed by Florida Democrats---By the Floridian's Mateo Guillamont---Florida State Senator Nick DiCeglie’s (R-18) proposal to regulate Artificial Intelligence (AI) use in political advertisements was recently critically assessed by Democrats in committee...

Revived Florida Bill Considers Accusations of Racism, Sexism as Defamation; Zeros in on Journalists---By the Floridian's Liv Caputo---A new bill would classify allegations of racism, sexism, or homophobia as defamation, branding the defendant with fines of up to $35,000. The legislation would also remove a journalist's usage of anonymous sources...

Parental Rights vs. Child Protections: Florida Lawmakers Go Head-to-Head Over New Social Media Bill---By the Floridian's Liv Caputo---In a push toward increased protection of children, the Florida House voted on a new bill banning social media usage for children under 16. Social media platforms in violation...

Florida Bill Would Remove "Tranq" for Animals From Controlled Substances List---By the Floridian's Liv Caputo---A newly filed bill in the Florida Legislature would allow "zombie drug" xylazine to once again be administered to animals in Florida. The legislation would remove xylazine...

State Legislators Berman, Anderson Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Combat Impaired Driver Deaths---By the Floridian's Jackson Bakich---State Senator Lori Berman (D-FL) and State Representative Adam Anderson (R-FL) introduced SB 1172 and HB 961 respectively to expand the legal definition of impairment as it relates to DUI...

Calatayud Proposal to Inject $100 Million into Florida Affordable Housing Gains Traction---By the Floridian's Mateo Guillamont---Florida Senator Alexis Calatayud’s (R-38) recently introduced affordable housing bill is moving swiftly through Florida’s legislative labyrinth. Senator Calatayud’s bill reforms...

Alternative Program to High School Education Proposed by Florida Legislature---By the Floridian's Mateo Guillamont---The Florida Senate’s Education Postsecondary Committee has filed and approved a bill that would create an alternative pathway for students to obtain a High School diploma. The Graduation...

Sweeping Florida Healthcare Bills Pushed Past the Senate Floor---By the Floridian's Liv Caputo---Senate President Kathleen Passidomo's sweeping healthcare agenda is on the move, following the Florida Senate's unanimous passage of her widespread...

Push to Liberalize Minor Employment Quickly Progressing Through Legislature---By the Floridian's Mateo Guillamont---Republican legislation to deregulate minor employment in Florida is swiftly progressing through the legislative process. A group of bills concerning minor employment would include measures such as...

Watchdog Group Holds Election Security Press Conference, Advocates for Voter Protections---By the Floridian's Liv Caputo---Watchdog group Defend Florida held a press conference Wednesday afternoon, advocating for tighter election security and elimination of voter fraud. Florida Republican lawmakers...

Jones Congratulates Democrat Who Flipped State House Seat in Special Election---By the Floridian's Jackson Bakich---State Senator Shevrin Jones (D-FL) offered congratulatory remarks to State Representative-elect Tom Keen (D-FL) for his victory over Erika Booth (R) in the District 35 special election on Tuesday. State Rep.-elect Keen flipped the seat from red to blue...

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Liv Caputo

Liv Caputo

Livia Caputo is a senior at Florida State University, working on a major in Criminology, and a triple minor in Psychology, Communications, and German. She has been working on a journalism career for the past year, and hopes to become a successful reporter after graduation. Her work has been cited in Fox News, the New York Post, and the Daily Mail

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