House Speaker, Senate President launch the new 2022 legislative session

By: and - January 11, 2022 11:23 am

Senate President Wilton Simpson speaks on first day of 2022 legislative session. Credit: Florida Channel

On the opening day of the 2022 legislative session, Senate President Wilton Simpson said that the Senate will be building off of “investments” made last year by the Legislature.

One big effort would be to “make sure increases are prioritized for bus drivers, maintenance workers, cafeteria workers, and other true public servants in our public schools,” Simpson said Tuesday.

The Florida Education Association has been asking for pay increases for school personnel for months, even years. Gov. Ron DeSantis has focused on increases for starting pay for public school teachers.

In addition, Simpson said he wanted to continue minimum wage increases for state workers. That said, Florida voters approved a 2020 constitutional amendment to gradually increase the minimum wage of $15 by 2026.

In the House, Speaker Chris Sprowls hinted at the House priorities, such as limiting lockdowns for COVID reasons. Earlier in the pandemic, Florida did have restrictions, but DeSantis has said he will never do lockdowns.

“You don’t have to look much further than the conversations around COVID-19,” Sprowls said.

“Here’s an almost perfect example of the need to manage risks — to balance public health concerns against the need for people to maintain their livelihoods and the need to attend to the emotional, educational and social well-being of our children.”

He continued: “And yet, the conversation has, at times, been dominated by extremes — the people who want to lock everyone inside at home and the people who think the virus is a conspiracy to microchip the masses.”

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Danielle J. Brown
Danielle J. Brown

Danielle J. Brown is a 2018 graduate of Florida State University, majoring in English with a focus in editing, writing, and media. While at FSU, she served as an editorial intern for International Program’s annual magazine, Nomadic Noles. Last fall, she fulfilled another editorial internship with Rowland Publishing, where she wrote for the Tallahassee Magazine, Emerald Coast Magazine, and 850 Business Magazine. She was born and raised in Tallahassee and reviews community theater productions for the Tallahassee Democrat. She spends her downtime traveling to all corners of Florida and beyond to practice lindy hop.

Issac Morgan
Issac Morgan

Issac Morgan is a 2009 graduate of Florida A&M University's School of Journalism, and a proud native of Tallahassee. He has covered city council and community events at the Gadsden County Times, worked as a sports news assistant at the Tallahassee Democrat, a communications specialist for the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and as a proofreader at the Florida Law Weekly.