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What bills could Gov. Ron DeSantis veto this year?

Governor has yet to act on 208 bills passed this session
Posted at 5:42 PM, Apr 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-08 17:42:19-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Lawmakers approved 275 bills this year and the largest budget in state history. But there's never a guarantee the governor will like all of them. His veto pen is always at the ready this time of year.

DeSantis is no stranger to using his executive powers to kill a bill. He's eliminated a small handful of them each year and has already killed one in 2022.

Several policies saw bipartisan opposition this year.

Here are a few of them.

HB 741, also known as the net metering bill, reduces rooftop solar incentives. It cuts the costs utility providers pay for mandated buybacks of excess power.

Jeff Brandes speaks about the net metering bill
Jeff Brandes speaks about his opposition to the net metering bill during the legislative session on March 7, 2022.

The policy has pitted the two energy industries against each other.

Both warn of fiscal impacts depending on DeSantis' decision. The ongoing frustration could be enough to earn a veto from the governor, who is big on the environment.

"This bill is not ready for prime time," said Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, while offering a final debate before HB 741's Senate floor vote. "This bill should have been studied. This bill should come, really, with industry on board with us."

Another is SB 620. It allows some businesses to seek damages if certain kinds of city or county ordinances cause at least a 15% profit loss.

Plaintiffs would have to prove their losses in court, but groups like Florida Tax Watch have warned it could mean more frivolous lawsuits.

"Strategies that provide more information before a vote — like the business impact statements being proposed — are smart moves and help protect taxpayers and businesses," said Florida TaxWatch President and CEO Dominic M. Calabro, in a statement earlier this year. "However, our research shows that legislation that encourages legal challenges in an already extremely litigious state like Florida could lead to a number of financially motivated and malicious lawsuits, costing local governments over $900 million annually."

Sen. Lori Berman shares opposition to Dissolution of Marriage bill
Sen. Lori Berman speaks about her opposition to the Dissolution of Marriage bill.

There is a chance SB 1796 gets axed as well. It ends permanent alimony and presumes equal time-sharing for parents is in a child's best interest.

Former Gov. Rick Scott vetoed previous versions. And this time around, some were concerned the policy was too generous to bad moms and dads.

"You're going to presume that a parent that's committed child abuse gets 50/50 sharing," said Sen. Lori Berman, D-Boynton Beach, while debating the bill in early March.

Florida's next budget could also see a bunch of cuts.

DeSantis said this week to expect a trim from the $112 billion bill with his line-item veto.

"We are going to pare that back a little bit," said DeSantis during a Tuesday press conference. "Because, yes, we've got a lot of strong revenue. We've got a lot of good things going on, but you don't want irrational exuberance. You need to plan for the future."

It's unclear how much DeSantis will slice, but most of it is likely to come from the many local member projects lawmakers approved.

The governor is still waiting for the Legislature to convey all of these bills, including the budget, to his desk. After that, he will have several days to make his final decision on whether to sign them.