State of the State Address: Governor Ron DeSantis lays out 1st year agenda for Florida

Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis' first State of the state address is a message calling for environmental protections, low taxes, big changes in education and safer schools.

The speech delivered Tuesday also serves as a list of what DeSantis has already accomplished in his first two months in office.

DeSantis is calling on legislators to come together to implement change as part of his bold vision for a brighter future. The governor was welcomed with applause, handshakes and hugs, as he made his pitch to legislators for what bills he would like to sign on his desk. 

“How can we accomplish this? I answer simply, be bold,” he said.

First on his agenda was the environment. 

“I have requested $2.5 billion over the next four years for water resources projects and Everglades restoration,” DeSantis said.

That’s more than a billion dollar increase compared to Rick Scott’s tenure. DeSantis said he also wants to increase spending for education when it comes to recruiting and keeping teachers as well as creating more scholarships for low-income families and those with disabilities. 

“We are a big, diverse state and one size doesn’t fit all when it comes to education,” he said.

Same can be said for healthcare. DeSantis said he wants to make health insurance, medications and medical care more affordable for Floridians. DeSantis has already proposed purchasing prescription drugs from Canada with President Trump’s support. 

“I’m also open to any ideas that the Legislature has, to tackle this problem,” DeSantis added. “One thing is clear: Floridians need relief from the rising costs of prescription drugs.”

While DeSantis said he is open to looking for solutions across our border, he shared his position on illegal immigration.

“Florida will not be a sanctuary state – we won’t allow someone here illegally to commit criminal misconduct and simply be returned to our communities,” he said.

The 2019 legislative session has only just begun. Over the next 60 days, more than 3,000 bills will be debated shaping the future of Florida.