‘What the hell are we doing?’: Top Senate Dem calls 2022 Session one of the worst she’s seen
Lauren Book assembles a solid re-election staff.

The Session is kicking into overdrive with less than three weeks remaining.

At the start of a week in which senators will consider a series of hot-button issues from abortion to immigration, Senate Democratic Leader Lauren Book says the 2022 Session is one of the worst she’s seen yet.

With the close of the 60-day Legislative Session less than three weeks away, the Senate Appropriations Committee on Monday will take up bills to ban abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy (HB 5) and a crackdown on illegal immigration (SB 1808/HB 1355). Additional legislation in the works, dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill by critics (SB 1834/HB 1337), is expected to go before the House later this week before making its way to the Senate.

The Republican-led Legislature has until March 11 to pass those bills plus the budget and more, including controversial Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo’s confirmation.

“We’ve got 18 more days to go, so basically we’re in hell week until Sine Die,” Book said. “Sorry, pretty sh*tty.”

The Democratic Leader drew comparisons to last Session, when lawmakers passed the “Fairness in Women’s Sports Act,” legislation that banned transgender girls and women from competing in girls and women’s sports.

While that measure was directly harmful to only a handful of students, proposals like the “Don’t Say Gay” bill would affect “untold children, families, teachers” with painful consequences, Book told reporters. So would the abortion ban, the immigration bill, and other bills regarding elections and critical race theory.

“I think this year, this is all very personal, and it feels personal,” said Book, who has been a senator since 2016. “I know it’s not coming from a mean-spirited place, because I don’t believe that my colleagues are trying to pass legislation that is mean in spirit. But I do believe that this is probably one of the worst Sessions that I’ve seen, where we’re taking issues that are going to deeply, deeply affect Floridians.”

She noted last week marked the fourth anniversary of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and the school safety and classroom protections measures that followed the shooting.

“But we’re a bridge too far because we don’t want to talk about two moms and two dads?” Book questioned, referring to the “Don’t Say Gay” bill. “What the hell are we doing? We can do better than this.”

Book will miss the Appropriations Committee meeting after testing positive for COVID-19 on Thursday. Speaking to reporters over Zoom, she told them she wished she could attend the meeting but would be back for floor session on Tuesday.

House Democrats are holding out hope that the Senate will make changes to legislation coming out of the House. On the abortion bills, Democrats hope to convince Senate Republicans to add exceptions for rape, incest and human trafficking to the 15-week ban.

Because Democrats are outnumbered 24-15 in the Senate, they have little say over most major flashpoints. The leverage Democrats have to fight those bills in the remaining weeks, Book said, is to make it challenging for Republicans to pass them by asking difficult questions and pressing the policies.

“I think that you’re going to find a caucus during these next couple of weeks that are, on some of these really bad pieces of legislation, working very hard to poke holes, cut out crap and trying to make it different,” Book said.

Renzo Downey

Renzo Downey covers state government for Florida Politics. After graduating from Northwestern University in 2019, Renzo began his reporting career in the Lone Star State, covering state government for the Austin American-Statesman. Shoot Renzo an email at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @RenzoDowney.


  • Tom

    February 21, 2022 at 3:31 pm

    Which means it’s one of the best!
    DeSantis the Best! America’s Gov.
    Besides Wilton Simpsons shenanigans

  • Matthew Lusk

    February 21, 2022 at 3:51 pm

    It must be painful being a democrat and on the wrong side off most issues, then have to go home and live with your wayward deplorable self.

  • comments

    February 21, 2022 at 4:12 pm

    I think we talk public indecent if a man exposes himself in public what is the difference in a bathroom among growing adult and that gay thing just might be a downfall.mothers love is blind.she wants a co existence.

    • Tom

      February 21, 2022 at 5:17 pm

      Your commentary is demented, not wanted. Go away, sick.

  • Tom Palmer

    February 21, 2022 at 6:20 pm

    We haven’t seen such a wicked legislative session in decades. Amerika’s Governor, indeed. He puts the goober in gubernatorial.

  • Tom Palmer

    February 21, 2022 at 6:22 pm

    Oh, I forgot to mention incompetent and venal.

    • Tom

      February 22, 2022 at 7:59 am

      You spell America” in correctly you loser hack partisan. Wicked my ass, showing you libtards what it means to govern. As I said, when Dums whine, you know it’s effective. Tell her to lobby daddy for a million more.

      Btw, Wilton Simpson needs to get his tail straight, pass gas relief, leave Lake O alone, best Gov in country on environment. Simpson to cozy with big suga, state unions, employee raise, what bout businesses, job, private sector workers. Remember the peeps. Read my Sunday brunch reply, classic retort by FP legend.

Comments are closed.


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