Florida Republicans remain focused on DeSantis’ culture wars

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By Giselle Balido

February 13, 2024

Skyrocketing housing costs and property insurance premiums, gun violence, and the threat of climate change were absent from the Republican Party of Florida’s annual executive meeting on Saturday.

The issues that are negatively impacting Floridians–such as unprecedented housing costs and skyrocketing property insurance premiums—were glaringly absent from the Republican Party of Florida’s annual executive meeting on Saturday.

Instead, the state GOP’s 2024 legislative priorities include bills targeting LGBTQ rights in the workplace and, just before the sixth anniversary of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas massacre in 2018 that took 17 lives, legislation to reduce the minimum purchasing age to buy a gun.

“When their priorities aren’t dangerous, they’re silly,” state Democratic Party Chair Nikki Fried said in a statement. “They have all the power in the state government, and they continue to use it for out-of-touch BS like a war on pride flags and pronouns.”

RELATED: Rep. Susan Valdés: ‘We are focusing on culture wars that have nothing to do with everyday Floridians’ needs.’

Here is a partial list of state Republican lawmakers’ core agenda:

House Bill 599 and Senate Bill 1382 seek to prevent employers from having to use preferred pronouns for employees. The legislation would also prevent an employer or non-profit organization that receives government funds from requiring training or education on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression in the hiring process.

In an effort to ban the use of rainbow or “Pride” flags, House Bill 901 and Senate Bill 1120 would prevent what the GOP calls “partisan and ideological flags” from being displayed on or inside government buildings.

House Bill 395 and Senate Bill 1122 would require the state to oversee all removal and destruction of historical monuments, as well as banning local officials and governing bodies from removing monuments by their own authority.

House Bill 1223 would reduce the minimum age to purchase or transfer a firearm from 21 to 18.

House Bill 1639 seeks to define the two biological sexes. It also requires health insurance companies that provide for gender transition surgery to also provide de-transition coverage.

RELATED: Floridians are paying the high legal cost of DeSantis’ culture wars

In her written statement, Chairwoman Fried went on to chastise the state GOP and its new Chairman, Evan Power, for their focus on their “made up” culture wars and for ignoring what she called the “crisis raging in Florida.”

“The Republican Party of Florida is a joke, and new leadership hasn’t changed anything,” Fried added in her statement. “Imagine the Florida we could live in if they put the same effort into fixing our state that they put into protecting the mega-wealthy and bullying the marginalized.”

 

Author

  • Giselle Balido

    Giselle is Floricua's political correspondent. She writes about the economy, environmental and social justice, and all things Latino. A published author, Giselle was born in Havana and grew up in New Jersey and Miami. She is passionate about equality, books, and cats.

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