On Monday, April 26th, 2021, the Florida Senate voted 23 to 17 in favor of of a controversial bill (SB 90) regarding election administration and its tightening grip on mail-in voting. SB 90 includes changes to the current Election Code like, supervising and reducing the number of mail-in ballot drop boxes used by a supervisor of elections, and requiring voters to submit an application for a mail-in ballot every two years rather than every four years.
Democrats in the Florida Senate who voted against the bill say that SB 90 retains voting restrictions that that are unnecessary and will have disproportionate negative effect on Hispanic, Black, and older voters. They also commented on how the proposed measures of the bill is in reaction to the voting fraud allegations made by former President Trump in the 2020 elections.
On April 23rd, 2021, the Florida House of Representatives voted 109 to 3 for a bill (HB 7061) that was originally proposed by the Ways and Means Committee on April 18th, to provide multiple sales-tax “holidays” and other tax-related adjustments developed to explicitly impact both businesses and families alike.
If the bill is successfully passed, the first sales-tax holiday would be the “Disaster Preparedness” holiday from May 28th, 2021, through June 3rd, 2021 that allows supplies specifically for disaster preparedness to be exempt from sales-tax and county discretionary sales surtaxes. Items exempt include:
On Thursday, April 22, 2021, the Florida Senate approved a “moment of silence” bill (HB 529) that was previously approved by the Florida House of Representatives on March 18th of this year regarding the requirement of all school districts to enforce a 1-2 minute moment of silence for students of all grades at the beginning of each school day, specifically during first-period class times.
The House approved the bill with a 94-24 vote while the Senate approved the bill with a 32-6 vote. After Thursdays approval, the bill moves on to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis where he will make final actions regarding the bill.