The Phoenix Flyer

Legislature issues last-minute special-session call for next week

By: - February 3, 2023 5:06 pm

The Florida Capitol. Credit: Michael Moline

House and Senate leaders have called a special session of the Florida Legislature beginning on Monday to take up items including the future of the Walt Disney Co.’s private government and to add money to Gov. Ron DeSantis’ asylum seeker removal fund.

The special session is scheduled to close on Friday, Feb. 17.

“In coordination with the governor’s office and the Florida House, we have identified several issues that warrant our attention in advance of the 2023 regular session,” which formally opens just about a month from now,” Senate President Kathleen Passidomo wrote Friday to her members.

At DeSantis’ insistence, the Legislature scheduled the sunset of Disney’s Reedy Creek Improvement district after the company criticized his Parental Involvement in Education, or Don’t Say Gay, bill last year. DeSantis is looking to have the state assume the district’s considerable bond obligations.

Last year, the DeSantis administration flew close to 50 mostly Venezuelan asylum seekers from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard after falsely promising them they’d receive government assistance there. The latest initiative would allow the governor to remove Cubans who have been arriving in the Florida Keys in recent weeks.

The special session also will take up financing for additional natural disaster recovery and assistance in light of hurricanes Ian and Nicole; clarifying the statewide prosecutor’s authority to charge state and federal elections crimes; and revise Florida’s law allowing college athletes to capitalize on their intellectual property to conform with recent National Collegiate Athletic Association regulations.

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Michael Moline
Michael Moline

Michael Moline has covered politics and the legal system for more than 30 years. He is a former managing editor of the San Francisco Daily Journal and former assistant managing editor of The National Law Journal.