From Abortion to Immigration, Here Are 10 Big Issues From Florida's 2023 Legislative Session

The Republican supermajority did two big things this session: made the state way more conservative than it once was and moved more powers to Tallahassee and away from local governments.

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Florida lawmakers ended the 2023 legislative session Friday. During the 60-day session, the Republican-controlled House and Senate passed numerous high-profile bills that lined up with priorities of Gov. Ron DeSantis.

Lawmakers made the state way more conservative than it once was and moved more powers to Tallahassee and away from local governments.

Here are snapshots of 10 big issues:


After passing a 15-week abortion limit in 2022, lawmakers and DeSantis went further this year and approved a plan (SB 300) to prevent abortions after six weeks of pregnancy. The six-week limit would take effect if the Florida Supreme Court rules that a privacy clause in the state Constitution does not protect abortion rights.

Here's what the bill entails.

The Republican-dominated Florida Legislature on Thursday approved a ban on abortions after six weeks of pregnancy, a proposal signed into law later in the day by GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis as he prepares for an expected presidential run. NBC6's Steve Litz reports


In a priority of Senate President Kathleen Passidomo, R-Naples, lawmakers passed a plan (SB 102) aimed at making housing more affordable for workers. The bill, signed by DeSantis, includes providing incentives for investments in affordable housing and encouraging mixed-use developments in commercial areas.

What to know about SB 102, also known as the Live Local Act.

Florida's Live Local Act provides $711 million in funds and tax incentives for affordable housing projects through the Florida Housing and Finance Corporation, aiming to increase much-needed inventory. NBC 6's Lorena Inclan reports


The House and Senate on Friday passed a record $117 billion budget for the 2023-2024 fiscal year, which will start July 1. The plan will go to DeSantis, who has line-item veto power. Lawmakers on Friday also passed a wide-ranging tax package (HB 7063) that includes a series of sales-tax “holidays” and trimming a commercial-lease tax.

Here's what the budget package entails.

Florida lawmakers have negotiated a nearly $1.3 billion tax package for next fiscal year that includes expanding popular shopping sales-tax “holidays,” trimming a commercial lease tax and cutting costs of diapers for babies and adults. NBC6's Steve Litz reports


Lawmakers passed a measure (SB 450) that eliminated a requirement for unanimous jury recommendations before judges can impose death sentences. The bill lowered the threshold to recommendations of eight of 12 jurors. Lawmakers also approved a bill (HB 1297) aimed at allowing death sentences for people who rape children under age 12.

Read more about SB 450 here.

Florida will no longer require unanimous jury recommendations for judges to impose death-penalty sentences under a bill signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis. NBC6's Marissa Bagg reports


In the latest round of partisan battles about elections laws, Republican legislators passed a bill (SB 7050) that would place additional restrictions on voter-registration groups, ease campaign-finance reporting requirements and change a “resign to run” law to help clear the way for DeSantis to potentially run for president in 2024.

Read more on who these laws could impact.

A measure that would bring a number of changes to Florida elections is making its way through the state legislature.


Lawmakers and DeSantis approved a measure (HB 543) that will allow Floridians to carry guns without concealed-weapons licenses. Called “constitutional carry” by supporters, it will do away with a decades-old licensing process. The House also unsuccessfully sought to undo a 2018 law that prevents people under age 21 from buying rifles and other long guns.

Read more on "constitutional carry."

Emotions also ran high inside the Capitol, with the permitless carry bill passing another senate committee. NBC 6's Steve Litz reports


Taking aim at federal border policies, lawmakers passed a bill (SB 1718) that includes stepping up requirements on businesses to check the immigration status of workers, cracking down on people who bring undocumented immigrants into Florida and collecting data about whether hospital patients are in the country legally.

Read more here.

A bill proposed in Tallahassee would crack down on undocumented migrants. Students who are undocumented are also concerned about their in-state tuition. NBC 6's Steve Litz reports


In a major win for business groups, lawmakers and DeSantis approved a bill (HB 837) aimed at helping shield businesses and insurance companies from costly lawsuits. The bill, which drew opposition from plaintiffs’ attorneys, includes changes such as shortening the time to file negligence lawsuits and largely eliminating “one-way” attorney fees.

What's HB 837? Find out more here.

HB 837 is a lawsuit reform bill designed to protect businesses, property owners, and corporations from paying excessive damages in lawsuits. NBC 6's Yaima Crespo has more on the impacts.


Lawmakers passed a series of bills targeting LGBTQ issues. That included a bill (SB 254) that would bar doctors from providing treatments such as puberty blockers and hormone therapy to transgender minors. Also, they approved expanding a prohibition on instruction about gender identity and sexual orientation in schools (HB 1069).

Read more here.

NBC 6's Phil Prazan discusses the controversy sparked by Gov. DeSantis' desire to annex transgender medical coverage.


In a priority of House Speaker Paul Renner, R-Palm Coast, lawmakers and DeSantis approved a bill (HB 1) that will make every student eligible for taxpayer-funded vouchers, which could be used for private-school tuition and other expenses. The bill includes ending income requirements in current voucher programs.

Here's how this bill impacts schools and students.

Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill Monday that expands the state's school voucher program to every student, a move that could have a major impact on Florida's education system.


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