Mar 11, 2022 - Politics

State legislative session winds down with controversial GOP wins

Illustration of a donkey with a gavel in its mouth

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

After passing the Parental Rights in Education Act — also known as "Don't Say Gay" — the Florida Senate has sent two more controversial proposals to Gov. Ron DeSantis' desk.

Driving the news: HB7, aka "Stop WOKE," passed Thursday. The bill sponsored by Rep. Bryan Avila (R-Miami Springs), essentially seeks to ban classroom discussion and corporate training that make students or employees feel discomfort over their race.

  • On Wednesday, the Senate passed SB524, a bill to form an election police force and make voters provide personal identification information on mail-in ballots.

Why it matters: This legislative session is ending with massive losses for Florida Democrats, and a series of GOP wins DeSantis can tout with voters heading into this year's election.

The other side: Rep. Michele Rayner (D-St. Petersburg) opposed SB524 in the Senate before Wednesday's vote, asking: "In what democratic society do we make it more difficult for folks to vote?"

What's next: DeSantis is likely to sign the bills, as he introduced the legislative proposals for both.

  • When speaking about HB7 last month, DeSantis said he wants Florida to be "a brick wall against all things 'woke.' This is where 'woke' goes to die."
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