Your Weekly Legislative Update

January 24, 2022
Week Two Session Summary
January 17 - January 21, 2022
Legislative Session 2022

In This Issue...


2022 Legislative Session Highlights 

✓ The PECO Estimating Conference was held on 1/18/22. Notably, the Conference revised their projections to show an increase of about $28M in cash available without bonding (now $414.8M) for public education capital outlay projects and maintenance for FY22-23. 

✓ During the Senate Education Committee meeting, Chancellor Marshall Criser presented on the creation of MyFloridaFuture, which was required in 2021 SB 86 sponsored by Senator Baxley. MyFloridaFuture is a free, online college and career planning tool accessible at, where salary data, employment outcomes, additional credentials, and student debt information are available. 

✓ Kathy Hebda, Chancellor, Division of Colleges, Florida College System; Henry Mack, Senior Chancellor, Division of Career, Technical, and Adult Education, DOE; and Christy England, Vice Chancellor, Academic and Student Affairs, SUS Board of Governors, participated in a panel discussion that focused on what postsecondary institutions are doing to widen the nursing supply pipeline in order to help address the state’s nursing shortages. 




Senate Education Committee

House Post-Secondary Education & Lifelong Learning Committee

Senate Ethics and Elections Committee

House Higher Education Appropriations Committee




House Education & Employment Committee

Senate Appropriations on Education

House Secondary Education & Career Development Subcommittee




Senate Appropriations


Published weekly during the legislative session, Capitol Perceptions provides updates on current legislative issues and their progress throughout the session. We would like to thank our AFC Legislative Committee Chair, Lacey Hofmeyer from Broward College, and Vice-Chair, Eired Eddy, from St. Petersburg College, for their hard work and assistance in compiling the weekly session highlights and bill updates.

We welcome you to track our progress weekly in Capitol Perceptions. Feel free to share it with a college friend who is not an AFC member. The online AFC Advocacy Toolkit is filling up with valuable and informative resources for you including a link to each week’s most recent 2022 AFC/FCS Bill Tracking Matrix.


To review the Council of Presidents' Legislative Budget Request CLICK HERE.

Bills the AFC is tracking:

SB 520 / HB 703: Public Records and Public Meetings (Brandes)

Providing an exemption from public records requirements for any personal identifying information of an applicant for president of a state university or a Florida College System institution held by a state university or a Florida College System institution; providing an exemption from public meeting requirements for any portion of a meeting held for the purpose of identifying or vetting applicants for president of a state university or a Florida College System institution, including any portion of a meeting which would disclose certain personal identifying information of such applicants; providing for future legislative review and repeal of the exemptions; providing a statement of public necessity, etc.

SB 520 was passed through the Government Oversight and Accountability Committee, and is now in the Rules Committee. HB 703 is now in the Government Operations subcommittee.

SB 148Individual Freedom (Diaz)

SB 148 would make it unlawful to require a person, as a condition of employment, to take training that espouses, promotes, advances, inculcates, or compels such individual to believe certain specified “divisive concepts” is per se unlawful discrimination. 

The bill passed the Senate Education Committee 6 to 3, and is referred to the Rules committee, which is its second committee stop.

HB 573 / SB 896Educator Certification Pathways for Veterans (Snyder and Killebrew)

Expands eligibility to seek educator certification to specified military servicemembers; authorizes DOE to issue temporary certificate to specified military servicemembers & specifies duration of temporary certificate for specified military servicemembers.

HB 537 was voted out of the House Secondary Education and Career Development subcommittee, but it has not yet been scheduled for its next hearing. 

HB 985Sovereign Immunity (Beltran)

Revises statutory limits on liability for tort claims against state & its agencies & subdivisions; revises requirements for state or agency or subdivision of state to agree to settle claim or judgment; prohibits insurance policy from conditioning payment of benefits on enactment of claim bill; specifies that limitations in effect on date final judgment is entered apply to that claim; requires DFS to adjust limitations on tort liability every year after specified date; revises exceptions relating to instituting actions on claims against state or one of its agencies & to statute of limitations for such claims.

HB 985 was added to the Civil Justice & Property Rights Subcommittee agenda for Tuesday, the 19th, at 3:30pm.


Senators advance DeSantis immigration bill over vocal opposition

Activists used Cuban opposition against GOP majorities.
01/24/2022 07:41 PM EST

TALLAHASSEE — The Florida Senate on Monday began work on an immigration measure championed by Gov. Ron DeSantis, giving initial approval to the proposal over the impassioned testimony of opponents who tried to evoke Florida’s own long-running history with undocumented immigrants as they lobby GOP majorities to kill the bill.

DeSantis has made a hard-right immigration platform a key piece of his budding reelection campaign and potential future bid for the White House, using his growing national presence to focus increasingly on the issue. That included holding a press conferences along the Texas-Mexico border, which is hundreds of miles from Florida at the state’s closest point.

In December, DeSantis called on lawmakers to pass legislation that would prohibit companies that transport minors from the southern border to Florida from getting state contracts, require local law enforcement agencies to enter into cooperation agreements with federal immigration officials and expand Florida’s sanctuary cities policies, which a federal judge in September said were crafted with the help of “anti-immigrant hate groups.”

Much of the focus of lawmakers during a Senate Judiciary Committee meeting was tied to the provision that would prevent state contracts to go to companies that partner with the federal government’s Office of Refugee Resettlement to transport minors to Florida, often to be housed in foster homes or with other social service agencies. The flights, which have long occurred but have increased since President Joe Biden took office, have increasingly been used by Republicans to criticize what they say is Biden’s failed border policy.

“The federal government does not inform the state of Florida where or when they are about to occur,” state Sen. Aaron Bean (R-Fernandina Beach) told the committee. “They do happen in the dead of night.”

The flights have gotten additional attention after a 24-year-old immigrant from Honduras allegedly lied about his age to get on the flights and is accused of killing a Jacksonville man. Later, DeSantis used the Jacksonville International Airport last month as a venue to urge lawmakers his immigration priorities, most of which are in legislation sponsored by Bean that advanced the Senate Judiciary Committee along party lines.

Democrats, immigration activists and faith-based leaders testified against the bill, including saying that one immigrant committing a “heartbreaking” crime should not lead to statewide policies that would impact all undocumented people coming to Florida, including children, who would be disproportionately affected.

“We are talking about one immigrant to be blamed for murders in Jacksonville,” said Sen. Tina Scott Polsky (D-Boca Raton). “But there are probably thousands of murders in Jacksonville … but we are going to blame all the immigrants.”

Polsky asked if Bean thought the bill was a “mandate” on businesses, which often pro-business Republicans are unwilling to pass. Bean conceded it was a mandate on companies that take part in the federal program, but said those costs were worth it because ending the transport of unaccompanied minors would help with public safety.

“It is a mandate, but the costs are so infinitesimal,” said Bean, who quickly left the committee room after the meeting and did not talk to reporters. “We do not think the cost is great, the safety of our citizens outweighs the infinitesimal cost.”

He told the committee that he has not seen a list of companies that participate in the federal transportation of unaccompanied minors, even though DeSantis said during his December press conference he had a list of the vendors that would be impacted. POLITICO has requested a copy of the list multiple times, but officials have not yet produced it.

The bill would also expand Florida’s sanctuary city policies to include any state policy that “prohibits or impedes a law enforcement agency from providing information to a state entity on the immigration status of someone in the custody of law enforcement." Florida lawmakers in 2019 passed a ban on sanctuary cities, which are those that do not cooperate with federal immigration detainer requests, despite the fact the state had no sanctuary cities.

In September, U.S. District Judge Beth Bloom overturned the law, in part because it was shaped by far-right groups like the Federation for American Immigration Reform, records showed.

“Allowing anti-immigrant hate groups that overtly promote xenophobic, nationalistic, racist ideologies to be intimately involved in the bill’s legislative process is a significant departure from procedural norms,” Bloom wrote.

Bean said the ruling, which the state is appealing, would not impact his bill. Yet he had several detractors.

“We should not be expanding a radically-motivated law,” Paul Christian Namphy with the Family Action Network Movement told the committee.

Bean’s proposal would also require any law enforcement agency that operates a detention center to enter into a so-called 287(g) agreement with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Those agreements allow local law enforcement agencies to enforce federal immigration law. Several opponents of the legislation pointed to a study by the libertarian Cato Institute that found the program “does not fight crime.”

Many of those who testified focused on an emergency rule the DeSantis administration implemented in December that would no longer license or renew the license of places that house unaccompanied minors, many of which are transported from the southern border.

Several read letters prepared by those who came to the country as unaccompanied minors in the late 1960s as part of Operation Pedro Pan, which sent thousands of Cuban children fleeing the Castro regime to the United States. Cubans of historically been one of Republicans most consistent voting blocs in Florida, giving a notable slice of political intrigue to use of Cuban voices against a top priority for DeSantis and legislative Republicans.

“I am saddened by the realization that the Florida Legislature is pushing forward Gov. DeSantis’ xenophobic agenda,” wrote Silvia Munoz, a 75-year-old from Miami who was part of Operation Pedro Pan. “The unaccompanied children coming to the USA now are no different from the ones who came, and benefited from the program in the 1960s.

“Actually, their situation is worse! We were not being killed; these children are!” she added.

Capitol Perceptions is compiled weekly during the Florida Legislative Session and distributed to AFC members.  

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