Legislative Roundup Part 2

Legislative Roundup Part 2 was made possible by the Seminole County Republican Party

Legislative Roundup Part 2 was made possible by the Seminole County Republican Party

By Barbara Haiss Martin

Seminole’s Senator Brodeur hits some out of the park, but one foul lands in the Press Box

Seminole’s State Senator Jason Brodeur (District 10), while still in his first four-year term as Senator, is not a political rookie having served in the House of Representatives for 10 years prior. With more than 900 bills submitted to the Senate last session, all 40 Senators received numerous committee assignments where they conduct hearings, review incoming bills, and elicit debate as well as public input before voting.

Senators also draft and sponsor/co-sponsor bills as well as present their bills to various committees. Other duties include constituent services and building relationships with other Senators.

While three of his Seminole counterparts in the House (all first-term Representatives including Rachel Plakon, House District 36; Susan Plasencia, HD 37; Doug Bankson, HD 39) are assigned four or five committees to sit on with no Chair or Vice-Chair responsibilities, in the last session, Brodeur sat on nine committees.

He was Chairman of the Appropriations Committee on Agriculture, Environment and General Government and Vice-Chair of the Health Policy Committee. He also sponsored 32 bills and co-sponsored seven. Rep. David Smith (HD 38), first elected in 2018 and serving consecutive terms since, held three leadership positions including Chair, Vice-Chair, and Republican Committee Whip for the Infrastructure Strategies Committee and was assigned seven committees or subcommittees in total.

Brodeur did have 11 bills successfully pass through the committee to become law. Many of the bills he sponsored related to health care, but one bill, SB 1316 Information Dissemination, caused local and national news media to cry foul along with First Amendment groups.

The bill would require bloggers to register and reveal who compensated them for the stories written about elected state officials including the Governor, Lt. Governor, Cabinet officers or any member of the Legislature. Regular reports were required or fines would begin to accrue. Needless to say, Brodeur was the only sponsor and while it “officially” died in the Judiciary Committee, I could find no video, record, or agenda showing Brodeur ever pitched his bill to the Judiciary Committee or any other committee.

Some of the bills that Brodeur did get passed included the expansion of the state’s trail system, adding synthetic opioids to the list of Schedule I controlled substances, requiring specified local officials to file a more detailed financial disclosure form and to disclose conflicts of financial interest, prescription drug reform act and SB 612 which Brodeur co-sponsored which creates an interagency workgroup to address blood clot and embolism education, prevention, and treatment.

Senator Brodeur is up for re-election in 2026.

Barbara Haiss Martin is an award-winning journalist who has lived in Seminole County with her husband, John, since 1972.

Florida Laws Passed in 2023

More than 200 bills were signed into law during the 2023 Florida Legislative session including a record $116.5 billion budget. Many of these laws went into effect on July 1.

Key bills sponsored by Seminole County Reps included HB 1 (expanding school choice), HB 95 (right of law enforcement and correctional officers), HB 365 (controlled substances), HB 7063 (tax relief), and HB 1297 (capital sexual battery).

View all new 2023 laws »

View 2023 bill summaries »

‘Sound of Freedom’ grosses $100M in its first three weeks

You may still be able to see this incredible film. Its “unexpected” and remarkable success has kept it running in AMC theaters. The film tells the story of Tim Ballard, a former DHS special agent who goes on a mission to rescue child-trafficking victims. Showing in Altamonte Springs, Lake Mary, and Oviedo. Check local listings for times and theaters.

Legislative Roundup Part 2 was made possible by the Seminole County Republican Party

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