Black Caucus spotlights legislative priorities
Bobby Powell

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Members say their proposal are shelved in favor of GOP priorities.

The Florida Legislative Black Caucus spotlighted their legislative priorities Thursday and urged Republican leaders to take up the bills.

At a news conference, caucus members noted how quickly GOP priorities move — while their bills remain “bottlenecked” at the starting line. Most caucus members are Democrats, if not all.

Sen. Bobby Powell, the caucus chair, pointed out the contrast alongside more than a dozen fellow members. Each lawmaker highlighted their various proposals and shared how the bills would address the needs of Floridians.

“The majority of Floridians are not clamoring for more voting rights restrictions, or government dictating what they can say, what they can question, and what they can learn about their history. Yet here we are,” Powell said. “Legislation focused on ginning up the culture wars is moving full steam ahead while bills offering real help for real people are ignored. This has to change.”

Thursday’s conference comes as the 2022 Legislative Session approaches the midway point.

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Caucus members said they’ve sponsored more than 59 proposals tackling key issues, though none have appeared on the floor. The proposals cover a variety of issues including affordable housing, criminal justice reform, education and health care, among others.

“As we mark the beginning of Black History Month, there is no better way to honor the achievements of Black Americans than to recognize the contributions of Black-sponsored legislation offering meaningful solutions to critical problems Floridians face,” Powell added.

Among the pool of unheard caucus-sponsored bills is a proposal that would provide a tax credit to landlords and developers who sell or lease affordable housing to college students and recent college graduates. Democratic Rep. Marie Woodson of Hollywood is the bill sponsor (HB 1089).

Rent prices are up 50% over the past year in South Florida, NBC Miami reports, which ranks as the single-largest annual increase in the nation. The median rent, the news station adds, is $2,800 a month.

“Affordable housing is an issue that is very important and critical to every single one of us,” Woodson said. “As legislators, we have to ensure our families can afford a place to stay.”

Though Powell and members wish the Republican-controlled Legislature would bless all caucus priorities, he understands that some proposals clash against GOP priorities.

“Some of these issues are community issues that go in conflict with regard to some of the principals of our leadership, but most of the things that we work on together are able to get some type of resolution,” Powell said.

Otherwise, Powell described Senate President Wilton Simpson and House Speaker Chris Sprowls as helpful and cooperative.

Jason Delgado

Jason Delgado covers news out of the Florida State Capitol. After a go with the U.S. Army, the Orlando-native attended the University of Central Florida and earned a degree in American Policy and National Security. His past bylines include WMFE-NPR and POLITICO Florida. He'd love to hear from you. You can reach Jason by email ([email protected]) or on Twitter at @byJasonDelgado.


2 comments

  • politics

    February 5, 2022 at 7:26 pm

    In no rent control states.. Ransom and strong arming is not a answer. Monopoly is not all grand either. If someone somewhere buys up all the land leaves you with no place to walk well I could see that future. That is not the concept of the American dream.
    eventually that could lead to nomad lawsuit.
    But who is word-press,
    As for votes you need to get there. It is not a race thing.
    I believe it is a shut your ass up with all that my way or the highway b.s
    Like I write this it is not 14th grade level but it is my freedom.

  • Impeach Biden

    February 5, 2022 at 9:25 pm

    Any reports on what the White caucus, or Hispanic caucus, or Asian caucus, and not to forget what the LGBTQ caucus might be discussing.

Comments are closed.


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