Tampa Bay Democratic legislators slam bills passed during the 2023 session and how the session unfolded

florida legislators
Florida Rep. Dianne Hart (left), Sen. Darryl Rouson, and Rep. Susan Valdes speaking at Tampa Tiger Bay Club. By Chris Young/WMNF News (19 May 2023).

The Florida Legislature wrapped up its regular session this month — we look back at bills that passed and bills that didn’t.

Three state legislators from the Tampa Bay area described the session using phrases like “culture wars,” “worst session” and the “Incredible Hulk ride.” They spoke Friday at Tampa Tiger Bay Club at the Cuban Club in Tampa’s Ybor City neighborhood.

We heard from three Democrats: Senator Darryl Rouson, who represents parts of Pinellas and Hillsborough Counties and from Representatives Dianne Hart and Susan Valdes of Tampa.

All members who represent Hillsborough County were invited, but two Republicans, Senator Jay Collins and Representative Karen Pittman, canceled the day before the event.

Here’s more of WMNF’s coverage of the 2023 Florida Legislative Session.

Listen to the show here:

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https://open.spotify.com/show/311qfxLFcO8F7ZvnjgZogD – WMNF’s Tuesday Café with Seán Kinane.

On May 7, News Service of Florida wrote a by-the-numbers summary of bills filed for the 2023 regular session of the Florida Legislature (source: Florida Senate report).

— General bills filed in House and Senate: 1,679

— General bills passed first chamber: 385

— General bills passed both House and Senate: 320

— Percentage of general bills passed: 19.1

— Local bills filed: 42

— Local bills passed first chamber: 28

— Local bills passed both House and Senate: 28

— Percentage of local bills passed: 66,7

— Joint resolutions (proposed constitutional amendments) filed: 14

— Joint resolutions passed first chamber: 5

— Joint resolutions passed both House and Senate: 2

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