Senate has packed schedule on Session’s Eve
TALLAHASSEE, FLA. 2/10/23-Sen. Travis Hutson, R-St. Augustine, urges Senate to pass his bill changing how the Reedy Creek Improvement District is governed, Friday at the Capitol in Tallahassee. The bill passed the Senate and heads to the desk of Gov. Ron DeSantis for his signature. COLIN HACKLEY PHOTO

Committees will consider bills on kratom, gas stoves, telehealth and more.

The 2023 Legislative Session kicks off on Tuesday, but Senators aren’t waiting for the gavel to drop to get to work.

Agendas show six committee meetings planned for Session’s eve, with the first three coming in the post-lunch block.

The 1 p.m. lineup includes a meeting of the Senate Children, Families & Elder Affairs Committee, which will hear a presentation from Florida Partnership to End Domestic Violence Executive Director Amanda Price. The committee is also set to consider a half-dozen bills — SB 226, SB 390, SB 404, SB 536, SB 538 and SB 664.

The Senate Environment & Natural Resources Committee is meeting in the same time slot to consider gubernatorial appointments to the St. Johns River and Suwannee River water management districts. Meanwhile, the Senate Agriculture Committee will hear presentations from 4-H, UF/IFAS, the Florida State University Coastal and Marine Laboratory, the University of South Florida and Florida A&M University.

The rest of Monday’s meetings are scheduled for 3:30 p.m., with a handful of widely tracked bills on the agenda.

The Senate Commerce and Tourism Committee will take up measures that would regulate the sale of kratom (SB 136) and another that would provide a sales tax exemption for natural gas stoves (SB 844).

Sponsored by Sen. Joe Gruters, the “Florida Kratom Consumer Protection Act” would impose several regulations on the recreationally consumed plant. If passed and ratified, the measure would ban the sale of kratom to people under 21 and require processors to ensure products are devoid of dangerous, non-kratom substances that affect the quality or strength “to such a degree that it may injure a consumer.”

The tax exemption bill was a late addition to Gov. Ron DeSantis’ list of Session priorities following rumors of a potential federal ban on natural gas stoves after research indicated a link between the appliances and several health issues, including asthma. Florida has the lowest rate of gas stove adoption in the country, but for DeSantis, “it’s just the principle of it.”

Over in the Senate Criminal Justice Committee, lawmakers are set to hear three bills with the headliner being a proposal (SB 382) that would strike out the “clean hands” provision for wrongfully incarcerated persons.

Florida law provides that a wrongly convicted person is eligible for $50,000 for each year he or she spends behind bars, however, the “clean hands” provision disqualifies exonerees who have more than one nonviolent felony conviction. The new bill would remove that caveat, bringing Florida in line with most other states that compensate wrongfully incarcerated persons.

Finally, the Senate Health Policy Committee will consider five bills, including a measure (SB 356) sponsored by Sen. Jim Boyd that would impose new regulations on telehealth services provided by dentists.

The committee will also take up a bill (SB 558) that would expand the scope of practice for certified nursing assistants by allowing those with one year of experience — and some additional training — to pass out medications to nursing home residents and home health agency patients.

Full agendas and meeting documents are available on the Florida Senate’s website.


A.G. Gancarski, Jesse Scheckner and Christine Jordan Sexton and Florida Politics contributed to this report.

Drew Wilson

Drew Wilson covers legislative campaigns and fundraising for Florida Politics. He is a former editor at The Independent Florida Alligator and business correspondent at The Hollywood Reporter. Wilson, a University of Florida alumnus, covered the state economy and Legislature for LobbyTools and The Florida Current prior to joining Florida Politics.


Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Drew Dixon, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Cole Pepper, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Drew Wilson, and Mike Wright.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704

Sign up for Sunburn