Today, Governor Ron DeSantis delivered his first State of the State address to a joint session of Florida’s legislature, outlining his vision and priorities for the future of Florida.
During the address, Governor DeSantis called for a focus on education, the environment, law and order, election security, and big tech.
“Floridians have a right to control their personal data and Big Tech should not be able to make billions of dollars off us without our informed consent,” said DeSantis, “Florida has always been a state that strongly supports free speech, and we cannot allow the contours of acceptable speech to be adjudicated by the whims of oligarchs in Silicon Valley.”
“Nor we can allow Floridians to be “de-platformed” or silenced with no means of recourse, and this is especially true of those who rely on these technology platforms for their livelihoods,” DeSantis continued.
DeSantis spoke of election integrity in the state, saying that Florida ran the ‘most transparent and efficient election in the nation.’
He also said Florida will lower flags to half-staff Wednesday to honor people who have died of COVID-19 and their family members. About 31,000 Florida residents have died since the pandemic started in March 2020.
“We are saddened by the thousands of Floridians — and hundreds of thousands of Americans — who have died with COVID,” DeSantis said. “And we sympathize with the family members who in many instances were not even permitted to see their loved ones in person, either in the hospital or at a nursing home.”
DeSantis also spoke on the topic of law and order, referencing the summer 2020 protests seen throughout the state and country, “As we saw rioting in other states last year, I called up the National Guard, mobilized mobile field force teams from the FHP, and worked with local officials like Carlos Gimenez and Lenny Curry to ensure that places like Miami and Jacksonville did not suffer the same fate as Minneapolis and Kenosha. Florida handled it well. But we need to do more.”
“Working with President Simpson, Speaker Sprowls, and law enforcement groups across the state, we have proposed the strongest anti-rioting, pro-law enforcement reforms in the nation. We will not permit localities to jeopardize the safety of their citizens by indulging in the insane fantasy of defunding law enforcement.”
DeSantis concluded the State of the State address with a quote from Benjamin Franklin, “There were days, Franklin remarked, when I thought this picture of a sun low on the horizon was a setting sun, but I now know it’s a rising sun – a new day for America, a new dawn for freedom.”
Not everyone was thrilled with the address today, Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried tweeted out, “I know you’re getting mixed messages from @GovRonDeSantis, but our economy is entirely dependent on our health. Keep masking up. Get vaccinated. And soon we’ll rebuild Florida’s economy to work for everyone.”