Democratic leaders wish they could have done more during 2024 Legislative Session
TALLAHASSEE, FLA. 4/29/21-Sen. Lauren Book, D-Plantation, left, talks with Sen. Jason Pizzo, D-North Miami Beach, at the start of the 2021 session, Thursday at the Capitol in Tallahassee. COLIN HACKLEY PHOTO

Some took a more positive view of the last 60 Days than others.

With Sine Die already receding into memory, Florida Democratic leaders are looking back on a Legislative Session in which the numbers were against them in the Senate and House and where outright victories were few.

While the statements differed between members of legislative leadership, the overall theme is one of disappointment tinged with hope that they’ll be better positioned going forward.

“This Session left much to be desired for Floridians who are facing daily, pressing problems like the skyrocketing cost of property insurance and rising costs of living. With the Governor’s mostly absent voice, we saw the Senate stand strong against many of the culture war issues that have plagued our state and stripped Floridians of freedom in years past. I hope that strength continues. I am proud of the Senate Democratic Caucus for using our voices, diplomacy and experience to advocate for everyday Floridians,” observed Senate Democratic Leader Lauren Book of Davie.

Senate Democratic Leader-Designate Jason Pizzo of Sunny Isles Beach will take over Book’s role in 2025. He took a long view, offering the most positive statement from any Democrat.

“I am leaving this Session with a sense of optimism that I haven’t felt in a long time. This Legislature has demonstrated that we can work across the aisle on reasonable and rational policy. When we are not bearing the burden of an executive agenda above our own, we see that cooler heads can prevail. We will continue to build relationships and consensus across the aisle, on policy that creates and keeps neighborhoods viable, safe and prosperous.”

Sen. Tracie Davis, who will succeed Pizzo as leader, split the difference between the Book and Pizzo positions.

“Thankfully this session we spent less time on culture wars, but there were still committees and staff dedicated to hateful, unhelpful legislation. We missed significant opportunities to address property insurance rates, public safety, affordable healthcare, and other issues that are actually important to Floridians,” the Jacksonville Democrat said.

Meanwhile, House Democratic Leader Fentrice Driskell wasn’t focusing on the positive in the way her Senate counterparts did.

“I believe this session was an incredible missed opportunity,” the Tampa Democrat said.

“When the DeSantis campaign collapsed, there was space for the Legislature to set aside his ambitions and focus on the real work Florida families needed us to do. Unfortunately, that did not happen.”

“Outside of the walls of this Capitol there is an affordability crisis, and Floridians shouldn’t need to wait any longer for their government to act. Property insurance is out of control, rent has skyrocketed, and the dream of homeownership is out of reach for too many hardworking families. Florida is becoming too expensive for many Floridians,” Driskell added, before focusing more on the insurance crisis.

“We could have acted on property insurance. So far, every solution the legislature has offered has been to benefit the insurance companies. To stabilize the market and bring prices under control, we need solutions that balance both the needs of the companies and the needs of the people of Florida.”

Driskell noted more also could have been done to protect “reproductive health care,” and the state could have “accepted Medicaid Expansion” and “paid back some of the $2 billion debt the Legislature owes the people of Florida after two decades of using the affordable housing trust fund so they could afford corporate tax breaks and pet projects.”

“Unfortunately, when it came to addressing the state’s most pressing issues, this session ended just like Ron DeSantis’ campaign: not with a bang but a whimper,” Driskell contended.

The leader of the party offered her own retrospective statement, meanwhile.

“In January, we said Republicans would come to Tallahassee to do absolutely nothing for the people of this state. Now that session is over, it’s safe to say that we were right,” said FDP Chair Nikki Fried.

“In the face of our worsening affordability crisis, Republicans offered no real solutions to our broken property and auto insurance markets or to the skyrocketing costs of rent and utilities across Florida. Instead, Republican leadership consistently put their own political ambitions ahead of the needs of Floridians, posturing over made-up culture war issues and jockeying for power in Tallahassee.”

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


  • Danny

    March 9, 2024 at 10:53 am

    This is an interesting kickoff to fundraising season. Do democrats think messaging like this helps them at all? They look pathetic.

  • Earl Pitts "Sage Political Expert Emeritas" American

    March 9, 2024 at 11:09 am

    Good Morn ‘Ting Florida,
    The reason we dont elect “Dook 4 Brains Leftist Legislators” in any number great enough to have any influnce whatsoever to effect the outcome of anything in The Great State of Florida’s Sage Legislature is “Because They Have Dook 4 Brains” and would “Totally Bankrupt The State” in just One year.
    Lets just look into the financial condition of a few Dook Majority States:
    New York: Bankrupt
    California: Bankrupt
    And all other Dook Majoriry States: Bankrupt.
    This is a “Prime Example” of why we have an Earl Pitts American as you seldom see such Truth In Media as you have come to rely on from ME, Earl Pitts American.
    *Queue Extra Loud USA USA USA Patriotic Music to drive home “The Sage Truth And Wisdom We Always Get From Earl”!!!!!!

  • Clint

    March 9, 2024 at 11:27 am

    The best is when the same democrats (like lovebirds Book and Pizzo) speak against a Republican bill but then vote for it. It’s always such a boost to their credibility! Hahaha

Comments are closed.


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