ORANGE PARK – With one of the most productive legislative sessions behind them, Florida Rep. Bobby Payne and Sen. Jennifer Bradley provided highlights during the Clay Chamber of Commerce’s annual …
ORANGE PARK – With one of the most productive legislative sessions behind them, Florida Rep. Bobby Payne and Sen. Jennifer Bradley provided highlights during the Clay Chamber of Commerce’s annual Legislative Wrap-Up Breakfast Wednesday.
Both said work done in Tallahassee had turned the state into the “epicenter” of national policies.
Buoyed by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis and supermajorities in both the House and Senate, both chambers pushed several conservative projects past the finish line.
Rep. Sam Garrison was traveling and couldn’t be at the Thrasher-Horne Center, but he sent a short video.
Payne and Bradley touted bills that better defined the curriculum in public schools.
“We made sure school teacher unions understood that the curriculum they should be teaching our children is a curriculum of primary learning skills and critical thinking, and not social skills, some of the social skill issues. That should be taught at home. Some of the issues that are brought into school should be appropriate for young children.”
Bradley said Florida students will also benefit from the state’s school choice program.
“This was the greatest expansion of school choice in Florida history,” she said. “Florida made the decision that we are going to fund our students and not fund the system.
“For too long, we have been accepting of kids not being able to be in the best school because of what zip code they lived in. And this year, we said parents know what’s best for their kids and parents should have the flexibility. I trust the parents to make that call.”
Bradley authored a bill that recently was signed into law by DeSantis that protects the information collected on residents – particularly children.
“I passed a student online protection bill, which tells these [data] companies that they may not amass profiles. They can’t sell, disclose, share any of our kids’ data. They can’t collect more than they need and must delete it when our child is through the [school] system.
“And this bill requires them to put up guardrails and make their online spaces safe. When a teenage girl searches for healthy recipes, I don’t want Instagram taking her down a pro-anorexia rabbit hole because it will boost engagement.”
Both also talked about finding a balance between preserving natural resources and managing growth.
“If anyone has an idea, I’m all ears,” Payne said.