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  • John Grant

Gov. DeSantis is starting the new year off right

January, the first month of the calendar, has long been a time of new beginnings and a fresh start. So far this year, Gov. Ron DeSantis seems to be taking that meaning to heart and taking January by storm. Even as the governor was inaugurated into his second term, a number of new state laws and changes to current laws began taking effect.

Some of those changes include toll road credits for certain motorists, disaster assistance in the form of property tax rebates when residential properties are rendered uninhabitable, and most notably the changes regarding property insurance ending a controversial practice known as assignment of benefits.

What’s also significant is a land preservation plan freeing up $300 million for land acquisition. The governor has made it clear he doesn’t want other countries like China buying up property within the Sunshine State. These significant state developments all took place on day one of 2023 as several laws passed in 2022 went into effect.

Days later, Gov. DeSantis signed Executive Order 23-06 to further advance the protection of Florida’s environment and water quality. He proposed a $3.5 billion investment over four years for Everglades restoration and protection of our water sources — surpassing the historic investments he made during his last term to make this the highest level of funding in Florida’s history.

And if that wasn’t enough, the governor also announced last week that he’s working to get prescription drug costs decreased. He’s doing this by reining in prescription benefit managers who have acted as the middlemen between pharmaceutical companies and pharmacists. These mostly unregulated and unchecked PBMs, as they are called, often jack up drug prices for their own financial gain, and it’s the consumer and small pharmacies that end up footing the bill.

During his first term, the governor worked to improve the lives of the elderly with special services and Alzheimer’s research. He has also worked to improve the lives of our children by protecting their schools and their minds. All this while protecting our wallets, our homes and our state resources.

Isn’t that what we want from all our government leaders, to do what they say they will do and to serve and protect the people? There’s a proverb that says, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” DeSantis most certainly has a vision — one that he is quickly turning into reality.

In his inauguration address, the governor reaffirmed his commitment to the Free State of Florida — the land of liberty and the land of sanity, where “woke goes to die.” It has not always been a popular message, but since the pandemic, historic numbers of families have moved to Florida to get away from lockdowns and restrictions enforced in other states. So, his words and his deeds are resonating not only in Florida but around our great country.

Florida is buzzing. The nation, even the world, is watching to see what happens next and how DeSantis manages it all. “Florida shows that results matter,” the governor said at his inauguration. And he hasn’t just said it, he’s living it. If January is any indication of the governor’s mission to get things done, then he’s off to a great start in 2023.

John Grant is president and CEO of Seniors Across America and a retired Florida state senator.

View article on the Sun Sentinel here.


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