We are heading into the most Special time of year again, although for state Legislators, the Special means special sessions and special elections.

In November, the Legislature reconvened in Tallahassee and approved four bills, which the Governor subsequently signed into law. The special session came amid the backdrop of the war between Israel and Hamas, with state lawmakers taking steps to show their support for Israel. One of the new laws expands state sanctions against Iran and provides for additional security at Jewish schools.

Two other bills passed during the session carried a total price tag of $462 million, including a wide-ranging package to provide additional assistance in areas hit by Hurricane Idalia and provide $176.17 million to the My Safe Florida Home program, which is designed to help people shore up their homes to withstand hurricanes better. The bill will provide $25 million to the Florida Housing Finance Corp. for what is known as the Hurricane Housing Recovery Program in the designated counties, while tax breaks will be offered on agricultural equipment which was unusable in the two months after the storm; on the purchase of fencing and building materials purchased to make repairs after Idalia; and on fuel used for agricultural shipments and debris removal.

Another measure signed by the Governor is designed to make more school vouchers available for students with disabilities — as demand for the scholarships has exceeded supply. The bill partially eliminated a cap on participation this school year in what’s known as the Family Empowerment Scholarship for Students with Unique Abilities.

We are a little closer to filling the two vacancies in the House, as the primary election for House District 35 was held on November 7. Lake Nona businessman Tom Keen(D) will face Osceola County School Board member Erika Booth(R) in the special general election on January 16.

In Miami, voters are already casting their ballots in the General election for House District 118 as Election Day is December 5. Republican Mike Redondo faces Johnny Farias (D) and Francisco De La Paz (NPA). Farias lost to former Representative Juan Fernandez Barquin in 2022, garnering 31% of the vote.

Thank you again for your continued support of the FRVTA PAC. Your dedication and generosity play a crucial role in advancing the goals of the Association. With your ongoing support, we are empowered to actively engage in important elections, advocating for policies promoting the growth and prosperity of our industry. Your contributions enable us to strengthen our advocacy efforts and grow our stable of champions who share our vision for a thriving future. Together, we are making a meaningful impact on the direction of our industry, and your commitment ensures we can continue to represent the interests of our members effectively.