Chris Sprowls heads into his final Session already a victor. How will he build on that?

Sprowls, Chris
No doubt his final Session as Speaker will add an exclamation point to his historic tenure.

Under the leadership of Speaker Chris Sprowls, the House in 2021 delivered one of its best Sessions of the past decade.

We’ve previously noted he wasn’t afraid to reach across the aisle to get the job done. Combined with his and Senate President Wilton Simpson‘s positive working relationship, the Legislature looks ready for another productive Session come Tuesday.

From literacy to the workforce to health care and even historic changes for the environment, no policy area remained untouched last year.

Here’s how we think the Speaker might build on last year’s wins and deliver on his promise to prepare Florida for future challenges to round out his final Session as the head of the Florida House of Representatives.

Mothers and Babies

In his organization speech last year, Sprowls announced he wanted to tackle the disparities Black women face in maternal health care and the resulting disproportionate health outcomes for their infants. And he delivered.

Last Session, we saw Medicaid extension for mothers and NICA reforms. Both measures are designed to help mothers and babies in crisis. They also serve as a rebuttal to Democratic claims that conservatives don’t care about women or about babies after they are born — the perfect setup for the expected fight over abortion rights this year.

“Here in the state of Florida, we don’t kill babies,” Sprowls said back in 2019 in his designation speech. Expect this Session to be the year he takes care of this unfinished business.

Child Welfare

Last Session, Sprowls worked with the Senate to address issues facing foster children as they turn 18 and transition out of a family’s care. As the father of two young boys, he’s attuned to the issues related to fatherhood and fatherlessness and the crisis facing at-risk youth.

If the Children, Families and Seniors Subcommittee meetings during Committee Weeks were any indication, we’ll see continued progress on this issue. Leadership already cued up significant legislation including a foster children bill of rights for Session.

Stay tuned.


One of the major themes of Sprowls’ first Session was a strong push in the education and workforce arenas.

In both his designation speech and organization speech, he outlined proposals to improve educational outcomes and how that translates into Florida’s talent pipeline.

When the first book deliveries from his New Worlds Reading Initiative arrived at the doorsteps of Florida’s young readers in December, we saw how quickly his ideas could impact the lives of Floridians. We also witnessed increased accountability for VPK programs and the nation’s largest expansion of public-school choice.

The “Portraits in Patriotism” civics education and “anti-cancel culture” legislation provided red meat to his base. All the while, his tuition assistance for out-of-state students and those taking high-demand or virtual classes recognized the real-world needs of Florida’s students and industries.

Last but certainly not least, Sprowls’ vision to transform Florida’s broken workforce programs into a central “REACH” office was realized. It remains to be seen what impact this has on Florida’s job seekers and workers, but a system now place gives reason for optimism.

Sprowls’ success in moving legislation in the education and workforce arenas means we’ll probably see more this year.


In recent years, Sprowls is among the most aggressive and effective Republican champions on environmental policy.

As Speaker-designate, Sprowls was not afraid to speak out about the pressing reality of climate change and sea level rise, and he put his words into action immediately after taking the helm of the Florida House, investing $200 million to address the problem and work toward solutions.

“I give Speaker Sprowls a lot of credit,” Gov. Ron DeSantis said at a Dec. 9 news conference. “I told him this is something I think we should do, and he really led the way to be able to do it.”

And this coming Session, all signs point to Sprowls becoming a major champion for Florida’s beloved sea cows. Last Session, he spearheaded the effort to appropriate $8 million for manatee habitat restoration.

In August, he hitched a ride with scientists from the Clearwater Marine Aquarium to learn more about the current research to mitigate manatee deaths and how public policy and legislation can improve the situation.

And just last month, we saw pictures on Twitter of Sprowls helping release manatees back into the wild and meeting with experts on how to continue to save them.

Fighting the “woke” movement

Before DeSantis ever held a news conference on his anti-woke agenda, Speaker Sprowls gave a sharp rebuke of woke Twitter Robespierres in his organization Session speech in November 2020.

We can probably expect to see the Speaker get behind the Governor’s push to legislate out progressive ideology in public schools, and perhaps take it a step further.

With so many transformational wins, Sprowls’ final Session has the potential to become an exclamation point on his tenure as Speaker.

Peter Schorsch

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises Media and is the publisher of, INFLUENCE Magazine, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. Previous to his publishing efforts, Peter was a political consultant to dozens of congressional and state campaigns, as well as several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella. Follow Peter on Twitter @PeterSchorschFL.


  • Alex

    January 10, 2022 at 4:16 pm

    It’s strange.

    Republicans are the party that have always said a person can work hard and get ahead in America.

    You’d think given this, they’d be the first ones to fight tooth and nail to ensure minorities (especially blacks) are given equal opportunity in all areas.

    Instead they spend an enormous amount of time pretending the problem no longer exists when it demonstrably does exist.

    Then they attack the people that point out the facts as somehow being racists themselves.

    The only conclusion any reasonably objective person can conclude is it’s either a case of mass delusion, willful ignorance, or they’re lying, again.

    • Alex

      January 10, 2022 at 6:29 pm

      And the answer to why is simple.

      They think minorities don’t deserve the rights they’ve always had, coupled with an all defining selfishness and fear of the competition.

      “Freedoms and privilege for me, fuck you”

      • Alex

        January 10, 2022 at 6:31 pm

        “Your comment is awaiting moderation”, again for no comprehensible reason.

  • Alex

    January 10, 2022 at 6:32 pm


  • Alex

    January 10, 2022 at 6:36 pm

    I’m reminded of one of my favorite adages;

    Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity. – Hanlon’s Razor

Comments are closed.


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