Breadth of 2024 Legislative Session Comes into Focus

Tue, Jun 04, 2024 at 9:35AM

Chris Dawson, Attorney, GrayRobinson

The 2024 Florida Legislative Session adjourned on March 8. Since leaving Tallahassee, legislators returned to their corners of the state to share with communities and constituents the product of their efforts. The presiding officers, in the last year of their terms, pushed through priorities ranging from social media restrictions to healthcare workforce development. Meanwhile, their successors started to assert their own influence, setting the stage for new leadership and new priorities in 2025 and 2026. With a total of 1,902 bills filed this year, legislators deliberated on many pieces of legislation, of which 325 were successfully passed. Below is an analysis of a handful of the key issues addressed during this session.

Budget Breakdown

The Florida Legislature is constitutionally required to pass just one bill – the budget. The current year’s budget (passed in the 2023 Florida Legislative Session) totals $116.5 billion. With revenues far surpassing estimates, many expected legislative leaders to pass a budget somewhere north of $120 billion. However, at the behest of the Florida House leadership, the Legislature took a more measured approach with the budget, opting to put over $10 billion in reserves. The final product passed was a budget that increased spending less than one percent from the year before. The following is a breakdown of the budget’s key silos.

$46.5 billion (41%): Health and Human Services
$30.1 billion (26%): Education
$20.4 billion (18%): Transportation, Tourism and Economic Development
$9.9 billion (9%): Agriculture, Environment and General Government
$7.3 billion (6%): Criminal and Civil Justice

Property Insurance Tax Relief

A top priority of Governor Ron DeSantis was property insurance tax relief. HB 7073 and SB 7074 provides a one-year exemption on taxes, fees and assessments for residential property insurance policyholders with homes valued up to $750,000. Effective on policies written between July 1, 2024 and June 30, 2025, the exemption will include the Insurance Premium Tax, the State Fire Marshal Assessment and the Florida Insurance Guarantee Association (FIGA) Assessment. The bill also includes a one-year insurance premium tax exemption on flood insurance policies and reduces the cost of flood insurance policies. Estimates place the average savings per Florida policyholder around $100, though calls remain for the Governor and legislators to take additional actions to afford relief.

Youth and Social Media

House Speaker Paul Renner’s (R-Palm Coast) top priority, originally bill (HB 1), would have prevented children under 16 from creating new social media accounts while simultaneously deleting all preexisting accounts for youth under the age of sixteen. The bill also required verification of the age of new account holders by using either anonymous or standard third-party age verification methods and allowed for private causes of action on behalf of or by minor account holders, with specified damages and filing periods. Concerns on the lack of parental consent options for fourteen and fifteen-year-olds ultimately led the Governor to veto HB 1 during session. The House and Senate reworked the bill and packaged it within HB 3 in the final week of session to include a delayed effective date, parental opt-in for ages 14 and 15 and other minor changes. Effective January 1, 2025, the bill may be challenged in court.


Chris Dawson is an Attorney and professional Lobbyist for GrayRobinson’s Orlando office and is licensed to practice law in both Florida and Alabama. He primarily focuses on lobbying and government relations for public and private sector clients at the executive and legislative levels of state government. He is credentialed as a Designated Professional Lobbyist by the Florida Association of Professional Lobbyists. Chris also holds two degrees in Civil Engineering and has experience in construction litigation and design professional malpractice defense.

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