The Sunshine State prides itself on being an ideal location to live, work, and play. While Florida, now the nation’s third most populous state, remains competitive across areas such as economic development, business opportunities, cutting-edge research, and arguably leads the nation in tourism, Florida lags behind a majority of states when it comes to addressing the health access needs of its large, rapidly growing, diversely-aged population.
As an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit taxpayer research institute and government watchdog, it is the mission of Florida TaxWatch to provide the citizens of Florida and public officials with high quality, independent research and analysis of issues related to state and local government taxation, expenditures, policies, and programs.
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Dear Fellow Taxpayer,
Each spring, the elected members of the Florida Legislature return to Tallahassee
to perform their roles as the representatives of the people of the Sunshine State.
Surrounded by interest groups both large and small, regular citizens and high-powered
lobbyists, our senators and representatives propose and debate new laws and attempt to
meet the needs of their constituents.
The 2015 Regular Session will be remembered as a unique one, with an unusual
ending that has not been seen in Florida in decades. On top of the progress of many
bills coming to an abrupt end, the Legislature failed to pass its only required piece of
legislation: a budget.
During Session, Florida TaxWatch provides on our website the public a weekly recap of
bills related to the issues that we are following, including economic development, health
care, criminal and juvenile justice, and education policies and programs.
This publication is a final look at the legislation followed by TaxWatch this Session, but
does not address the budget, which is scheduled to be completed by the Legislature in
For more information on any research topic highlighted in this publication, please visit
Dominic M. Calabro
President & CEO
The 2015 Legislative Session was certainly not a
normal one. The session effectively ended three
days early when the House unexpectedly declared
â€œsine dieâ€ and went home, leaving a lot of work
undone and creating more acrimony among
lawmakers. Senate Democrats even asked the
Supreme Court to compel the House to return,
claiming the Houseâ€™s unilateral adjournment
violated the Florida Constitution, with which
the Court ultimately agreed on principle, but
acknowledged that there was little that could be
done about it, as Session was set to end on the day
of its ruling regardless.
It was already apparent that the one job the
Legislature is required to do, the budget,