JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – High rents, skyrocketing insurance premiums and inflation are hot topics with the Florida Legislature.
The Duval delegation, which is made up of the state lawmakers representing Jacksonville, met Friday to learn what residents think should be the priorities for the state Legislature next year.
The meeting takes place yearly so state senators and representatives can hear firsthand the needs of city leaders and others. At the start of similar meetings in the past, city leaders like the mayor and city council president would speak, On Friday, however, neither were there.
But there were plenty of other groups and individuals who all had comments on various issues. Most of the groups who spoke want money. But there were also issues and concerns raised: abortion and monuments. And there are some other political issues these lawmakers are going to have to deal with — such as a governor who may run for president.
The delegation this year has new and returning members, and while the regular session isn’t until March, there could be a special session in a few weeks on insurance problems. If that happens, that session could also discuss the controversial issue known as “resign to run” — a change in the law could allow Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to stay in office and not have to resign if he decides to run for president.
News4JAX asked legislative leaders on both sides what they think.
“We are anticipating the governor possibly pushing to get that tacked onto the special session, similarly to what he did with Disney. I hope it doesn’t happen. But you know, we have someone who is so intent on becoming the next president of the United States instead of actually taking care of Florida, and so we’re here now,” said state Rep. Angie Nixon, D-House District 13. “I think we should leave it like it is. I think he should be forced to do his job or resign.”
Newly elected state Rep. Dean Black, R-House District 15, has not made up his mind.
“It’s been brought up, and we will have to discuss it,” Black said. “There are arguments for and against, and I am still reflecting on it.”
Experienced lawmaker state Sen. Clay Yarborough, R-Senate District 4, had similar thoughts.
“I’m willing to look at anything that they put in front of us on the desk and we work through it and we make the best decision,” Yarborough said. “Like I said, I’m open to looking at it. We don’t have anything in front of us yet. So we’ll take a look and then we’ll work through it from there.”
There is no official word if “resign to run” is going to come up soon or in the regular session.
Also, the group of lawmakers also chose leaders of the Duval delegation — state Rep. Wyman Duggan, R-House District 12, is now the chair, and Black is the vice chair.