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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis smiles as he ends his State of the State address during a joint session of the Senate and House of Representatives Tuesday, March 7, 2023, at the Capitol in Tallahassee, Fla. (AP Photo/Phil Sears)
Gov. Ron DeSantis smiles as he ends his State of the State address at the Capitol in Tallahassee, Fla., on Tuesday.Phil Sears / AP

Here are the top takeaways from DeSantis' State of State speech

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis touted the state's record, promising that "you ain’t seen nothing yet.”


Florida Governor Ron DeSantis opened his state’s legislative session with a clear message: Florida is number one. While he left the question of whether he plans to run for president in 2024 unanswered, he gave political watchers plenty to talk about when it comes to his future plans.

“We find ourselves in Florida on the frontlines in the battle for freedom,” DeSantis said in his State of the State speech to the state legislature on Tuesday. “We won’t back down," he added, "and I can promise you this: you ain’t seen nothing yet.” 

The Republican governor touched upon several of the hot button issues he’s received recent national attention for including an attack on “wokeism” in public schools. DeSantis passed the “Stop W.O.K.E. Act” in November which allows parents to sue school districts for teaching critical race theory in class. The Florida Board of education has also fought back against the College Board’s AP African American studies course by blocking its approval saying it “lacked educational value.”

“Our schools must deliver a good education, not a political indoctrination,” DeSantis said. 

DeSantis also featured several Floridians throughout his speech including a parent who said she saw pornographic material in her children’s school library materials and was subsequently elected to her local school board, as well as a vaccine hesitant radiologist whose job was protected by the legislature’s ban on vaccine mandates.

“No Floridians should have to choose between a job they need and a shot they don’t want,” DeSantis said, “the medical establishment whiffed an awful lot during Covid and physicians who follow the evidence should not be penalized simply because they buck a stale consensus.” 

DeSantis touted the state’s law and order record calling for the enactment of a constitutional concealed carry law without permits in Florida as well as stricter protocols against illegal immigration, featuring a mother who lost her son to a fentanyl overdose and a woman who was sexually assaulted by an “illegal alien” who broke into her home. 

“We must further strengthen our laws against illegal immigration by enhancing employment verification, increasing penalties for human smuggling, and further disincentivizing illegal migration to the state of Florida,” DeSantis said, “Florida is not a sanctuary state and we will uphold the rule of law.” 

Florida's state legislative session will be in full effect until early May with a slew of bills on the docket from gun rights to further restricting diversity efforts in public universities.