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5 issues that Jax-area lawmakers might tackle this session

HousePhotoOriginal7468.jpgFlorida Supreme Court Justice John D. Couriel, administers the oath of office for Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives to Paul Renner, R-Palm Coast, shown with his wife Adriana and their children, William Andrew and Abigal, in the House chamber during Organization Session of the Legislature, November 22, 2022.
Florida House of Representatives
Rep. Paul Renner, R-Palm Coast, was sworn in as speaker of the Florida House on Nov. 22, 2022.

Florida lawmakers had their first round of committee meetings last week and are already filing bills for the 2023 Legislative session, beginning March 7. And for the first time in more than 20 years, the Florida House is led by a Northeast Florida lawmaker.

House Speaker Paul Renner, R-Palm Coast, started his state legislative tenure representing Jacksonville in 2015 and now represents part of St. Johns County and all of Flagler County. (The last Northeast Florida speaker was John Thrasher, R-Orange Park, from 1998 to 2000.)

Republicans hold 84 of 120 state House seats (one seat is vacant) and 28 of 40 state Senate seats — giving the party a wide margin to push through policies. Renner laid out his priorities for the 2023 Legislative Session in November, focusing on hurricane recovery and conservative issues like parental rights in education and "anti-woke” financial investing. Renner also restructured the House with new committees on infrastructure and hurricane resiliency this year.

Read the rest of this story at Jacksonville Today, part of WJCT Public Media.

Claire joined WJCT as a reporter in August 2021. She was previously the local host of NPR's Morning Edition at WUOT in Knoxville, Tennessee. During her time in East Tennessee, her coverage of the COVID pandemic earned a Public Media Journalists’ Association award for investigative reporting. You can reach Claire at (904) 250-0926 or on Twitter @ClaireHeddles.