Although the “i” word popped up here and there, and perhaps disproportionate attention was paid to the posturing of Americans for Prosperity, media reaction to yesterday’s Senate Commerce win for SB 1606 was for the most part positive and fair.
The various outlets all speak truth when stating that there is no longer any expectation our bill can become law this session, but rather will serve to spark a conversation and set the stage for next year. Although we hoped to be farther down the road at this juncture, we have always considered this to be a two-year effort with an appropriations request slated for 2019. We still wait to see if any additional progress can be made while legislators remain assembled in Tallahassee; however, it is clear that we must return to building ground level support across the state, preparing to come back even stronger when committee weeks begin next December.
An end of the road in the Senate in February does not nullify the enormous headway made in the upper chamber over the past five months. Likewise, stonewalling by House leadership belies the many new alliances gained among forward-thinking representatives in that body, predictably inhibited this year by the demands of self-preservation, who likely will be more inclined to show support after Election Day. We take stock as the dust settles and know with confidence that, all things considered, our prospects are far more promising for the effort.