TALLAHASSEE — Florida lawmakers will return for a special session to impose additional sanctions against Iran, express support for Israel and provide additional security to protect Jewish institutions in Florida, House and Senate leaders announced Friday.
The session will also take up issues like hurricane relief, property insurance and providing more money for special needs students. Presidential candidate and Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis supports bringing lawmakers back to the Capitol to address the issues rather than wait for the January start of the annual session.
State Rep. Vicki Lopez, who represents Key Biscayne, said she’s excited about a proposal to add capacity to the popular but now frozen My Safe Florida Home Program, which funded wind inspections and grants to homeowners to make their homes more wind resistant.
“We have a huge backlog,” Lopez said Saturday. “We want people to take advantage of lower insurance” when home improvements are made.
Lopez said she does not expect any legislation in the special session that would directly effect Key Biscayne. News of the Legislature’s meeting came hours after the Village Council terminated the services of its primary lobbyist, Jonathan Kilman. The Village has started a search for a replacement as work ramps up for the start of the regular session in January.
“I pledged my support to the Village.” Lopez said. “We’re on top of it.”
Gov. Ron DeSantis said a major thrust of the special gathering Nov. 6 will be confronting Iran.
“Following the horrific atrocities committed by Iranian-backed terrorist group Hamas against Israel, I am calling on the Florida Legislature to act swiftly to ensure our state does not send a penny to the Iranian terror state,” DeSantis said in a news release.
The four-day session was called because Iran supports Hamas militants who attacked Israel two weeks ago.
Florida already has sanctions against companies that directly do business with Iran and six other “countries of concern,” including Cuba, China and Russia. The U.S. federal government has imposed sanctions against Iran for decades.
The announcement of the Legislative meeting comes after DeSantis made efforts to bring Floridians home from Israel, declared a state of emergency, and sent airplanes loaded with supplies for the country.