DeSantis champions Florida as “freedom’s vanguard” in State of the State address

Published: Jan. 11, 2022 at 6:15 PM EST
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (CAP NEWS/WCJB) - Governor Ron DeSantis used the word freedom more than a half dozen times, comparing Florida to other states during his state of the state address.

“While so many around the country have consigned the people’s rights to the graveyard, Florida has stood a freedom’s vanguard,” the Governor told lawmakers.

That freedom has produced record revenue for the state.

“I’m proposing a one billion dollar gas tax holiday,” a plan he has previously released.

The Governor also vowed never to embrace a soft-on-crime agenda.

“We will not allow law enforcement to be defunded, bail to be eliminated, criminals to prematurely released from prison, or prosecutors to ignore the law’ says the Governor.

DeSantis is pushing for up to a 25% percent raise for police, asked for money to deport illegal immigrants and wants election laws tightened.

“Ballot harvesting has no place in the state of Florida.”

Republicans, including Rep. Sam Garrison of Fleming Island in Northeast Florida, were joyful afterward.

“I think the Governor hit a home run. You know where he stands on everything,” Garrison told us.

But Democrat Nikki Fried, who is running for Governor, said Ron DeSantis had failed.

“This governor couldn’t lead Florida out of a paper bag,” said the Democratic hopeful.

Afterward, the Governor told reporters there is no reason for lawmakers to wait for an abortion decision from the US Supreme Court.

The comment came just hours after Sen. Kelli Stargel introduced a bill limiting abortions to the first 15 weeks.

“I think the decision should be made early in your pregnancy, not later,” Stargel told us.

Senate Democrat leader Lauren Book said outnumbered Democrats will overcome their lack of numbers.

“We are a fierce, fierce bunch of people who want to fight for everyday Floridians.”

Democratic State Representative Yvonne Hayes-Hinson is optimistic about finding common ground on the other side of the aisle.
 But, she says issues involving the governor will lead to conflict.

“In our joint session today, he came in like he was in a boxing match. Florida is the freest state in the USA, well we were free. We’re getting less free in my opinion, we’re getting less free than we were. It’s starting to look like a dictatorship to me!

Democrats are down three members as the session began. One Senator and two House members were required to resign when they decided to run in a special congressional election.

The session runs through March 11.

RELATED STORY: State Representative Chuck Clemons filed a bill that would expand the commission from five to seven members

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