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Florida Legislature Gets Ready for a Special Session to Support Israel, Add More Sanctions on Iran

The Florida Legislature will hold a special session next month to show it support for Israel after terrorist attacks by Hamas and to tackle hurricane relief.

At the end of last week, state Senate President Kathleen Passidomo, R-Naples, and state House Speaker Paul Renner, R-Palm Coast, announced the special session, which will start on Nov. 6 and run through Nov. 9.

Each storm is different, and the resources needed for long-term recovery vary dramatically across our state. Nearly two months have passed since Hurricane Idalia devastated areas of the Big Bend, and as we have seen our neighbors and communities begin the work towards recovery, we have an understanding of key actions that we can take now to ensure a full recovery for impacted families, business, and communities,” Passidomo noted in a memo sent out to senators. “For example, we know Idalia’s impact on our agriculture industry was catastrophic and debris removal remains a challenge. As we did following Hurricanes Ian and Nicole, during the special session, we will build on the tremendous and ongoing state response to Hurricane Idalia with key funding to support the Floridians and communities who are recovering and rebuilding. This includes tax relief for families and businesses, key assistance for agriculture and aquaculture producers, and aid for local governments.”

Passidomo added that the session will give legislators the chance to show their support of Israel.

“During the special session, as a full Senate, we will have the opportunity to formally express support for the state of Israel to exist as a sovereign, independent nation, with the right to defend itself and protect its citizens from indiscriminate violence and terrorism; condemn the unprovoked and barbaric attacks by terrorist regimes, including Hamas, against Israel, its citizens, and Americans; and demand the immediate end to any financial support, whether directly or indirectly, to the regime of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Hamas, Hezbollah, or other
entities that publicly support these attacks.”

Passidomo stressed that additional sanctions against Iran will be brought up during the session. So will more security for Jewish day schools and other efforts to protect against anti-Semitic violence.

Gov. Ron DeSantis urged the Legislature to move quickly to impose more sanctions on Iran.

“Following the horrific atrocities committed by Iranian-backed terrorist group Hamas against Israel, I am calling on the Florida Legislature to act swiftly to ensure our state does not send a penny to the Iranian terror state,” said DeSantis. “I am glad to see the Legislature’s willingness to convene and address this along with other important issues for the state.”

State CFO Jimmy Patronis called on the Legislature to “address funding for the My Safe Florida Home Program,” which “provides funding for free home inspections and match funding for home enhancements to harden homes against storms in an effort to reduce insurance premiums.”

“The My Safe Florida Home Program has been a huge success. With all the cash obligated for work, the governor and Legislature are taking proactive steps to help more policyholders without waiting for the regular session. This is a big deal. The average policyholder discount has totaled over $1,000 and policyholders have received thousands of dollars for enhancements to their homes. That’s making homes safer from storms and making premiums more affordable for policyholders. I look forward to working with the governor, president and speaker for the upcoming session to put policyholders first,” said Patronis.

House Minority Leader Fentrice Driskell, D- Tampa, said DeSantis was trying to use the special session to boost his presidential campaign. Trailing former President Donald Trump in the Republican presidential contest, DeSantis is increasingly taking aim at former Gov. Nikki Haley, R-SC, who has moved ahead of the rest of the pack and is battling the Florida governor for second place.

“This looks like yet another case of Ron DeSantis using the Legislature to try to help his failing presidential campaign. We will be watching closely to make sure Floridians’ tax dollars aren’t wasted trying to impress out-of-state GOP primary voters,” said Driskell. “DeSantis’ policy failures at home have left Floridians paying the most for homeowner’s insurance, auto insurance, and rent in the country. I think Floridians would prefer their governor spend as much time addressing these pocketbook issues here as he spends on his ambitions.”


  • Kevin Derby

    Originally from Jacksonville, Kevin Derby is a contributing writer for Florida Daily and covers politics across Florida.

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