Democrats respond to State of State Address

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (CAPITOL NEWS SERVICE) – Immediately following the Governor’s State of the State Address, Florida Democrats laid out their agenda for the 2019 session.

Protecting abortion access and traditional public schools topped their agenda.

After Governor Ron DeSantis laid out his vision for Florida’s path forward this legislative session, Democrats responded with their own.

“Prioritizing our economy, our students, our healthcare, our environment, and our people,” said Ray Seaman with Progress Florida.

The Sunrise Agenda, or the People’s Response as Democrats call it, seeks a $15 minimum wage, Medicaid expansion, and housing and employment protections for LGBTQ citizens.

“Because now is not the time to turn our backs on any section of our community,” said Representative Jennifer Webb.

Democrats also advocated for a heavier focus on climate change prevention, gun control, and increased funding for traditional public schools.

Senator Jose Rodriguez condemned the Governor’s support of a sanctuary city ban.

“We ought to be focusing on addressing racial profiling, addressing the divisions in our community that keep us apart and keep economic opportunities away,” said Rodriguez. "We should not be pretending there are sanctuary cities here to divide people.”

Democrats heavily criticized comments made earlier this week by the House Speaker, in which he referred to pregnant women as "host bodies."

“I want y’all to know that I am not a host body,” said Representative Anna Eskamani.

During the State of the State however, the largest applause came after the Governor condemned recent abortion expansions passed in other states.

Representative Eskamani says that’s concerning.

“A lot of this isn’t just about a person’s moral standing on issues,” said Eskamani. "It’s about testing things in the courts.”

With a newly conservative-leaning Supreme Court, previous court rulings against Republican-led abortion restrictions and private school vouchers may stand a better chance.

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