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What DeSantis wants out of Florida’s hellish legislative session

Republicans have a supermajority in the Florida Legislature and are poised to pass a full slate of repressive laws on Gov. Ron DeSantis’ wish list.


“We have made Florida the nation’s most desired destination, and we have produced historic results. But now’s not the time to rest on our laurels. We have the opportunity and indeed the responsibility to swing for the fences, so that we can ensure Florida remains No. 1. Don’t worry about the chattering class. Ignore all the background noise. Keep the compass set to true north. We will stand strong. We will hold the line. We won’t back down. And I can promise you this, you ain’t seen nothing yet.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis opened a new session of the Florida Legislature with those words Tuesday, vowing to continue to use his power for political retribution. Republicans have a supermajority in the state legislature and are set to pass a full slate of repressive laws on the governor’s wish list.

If you’re a teacher, you can’t talk about gender identity with students from the third grade to the eighth grade. You are not allowed to use any pronoun except the one you were assigned at birth. Do you want to major or minor in gender studies in college? Well, not if Republicans get their way. They’re considering legislation that would put a stop to that and any discussion of intersectionality at the college level, and also would end any diversity, equity and inclusion programs.

I guess if it ain’t white, it ain’t right in DeSantistan.

School board positions would go from nonpartisan to partisan, clearly to benefit Republicans. Then there’s the legislation that goes directly after journalists. Anonymous sources would be deemed inherently fake. Unsurprisingly, the law would also make it easier to sue journalists if politicians don’t like what they report.

There’s a separate bill that would force anyone who writes about public figures and gets paid for it to register with the government, basically forcing people to get government permission to form an opinion.

On abortion, the Republican legislature doesn’t think the 15-week ban goes far enough — they now want control of women’s bodies at six weeks, before most women even know they’re pregnant.

The state also wants to make it a felony for a parent to drive their undocumented child to school; you could be punished with up to five years in prison for doing so. Or to so-called harbor an undocumented person which depending on how the law is interpreted, could literally just mean living with them.

The legislature is eager to clear DeSantis’ path to the presidential nomination by silencing any opposing views or risking any unhelpful stories about him or them. And they’re also covering all the right-wing primary culture war bases by allowing people to carry guns in Florida permit-free, which should be great news for school shooters while ignoring actual crises like the exploding crises of housing affordability and insurers leaving the state.

Just in case you were wondering if this man actually cares about Florida at all, I mean, just look at his coming schedule: This week, DeSantis is taking his poorly reviewed book on tour to Alabama and Iowa.

This is an excerpt from Tuesday’s episode of the “The ReidOut.” It has been slightly edited for length and clarity.