6/3/21 To View Video, Click Here
8th Annual Reality Check: Press Corps Recap/analysis of the Florida State Legislative Session 2021
With an historical year marked by a virus pandemic, our state legislature has faced extraordinary challenges. Acting in the public interest is normally a daunting task, with the myriad of bills before it, but public health repeatedly took center stage.
Our top-notch panel of journalists has dutifully covered this tumultuous session with a range of bills. In a Republican-dominated body, a number of issues like election reform appealed to right-leaning voters. Democrats see some bright spots in the 2021 session, such as a bipartisan police reform package that establishes basic training standards across the state.
Beyond the hot-button social issues that dominated headlines, Gov. DeSantis avoided painful budget cuts, thanks in part to $10.2 billion in federal aid that cushioned the pandemic’s financial blow in Florida. Legislators approved a $101.5 billion budget that includes $1,000 bonuses for educators, police officers and firefighters. It continues DeSantis’ push to raise the minimum starting pay for teachers to $47,500. The minimum wage for the lowest-paid state employees will be bumped up to $13.
On the environment, the budget includes more money for Everglades restoration and $500 million to combat sea level rise.
Join our veteran panel, moderated by an eminently-experienced Tallahassee participant.
With a legacy of public service spanning nearly three decades, Shane Strum is President and Chief Executive Officer of Broward Health, one of the nation’s 10 largest public healthcare systems with an operational budget of $1.2 billion and more than 8,200 employees.
Before joining Broward Health, Strum served as Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ chief of staff and led the Governor’s staff in implementing a $90 billion budget, overseeing 20 state agencies with more than 100,000 employees, gubernatorial appointments, and cabinet affairs.
In addition to his healthcare experience, Strum has excelled in higher education, having served as vice chancellor of Keiser University and director of corporate and government relations at Nova Southeastern University.