It’s hard to remember a time when Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis wasn’t acting like a man thirsting for the presidency. But after endless speculation and refusals to make his ambitions official, he’s expected finally to announce that he is running for the Republican presidential nomination next week.
So what would a DeSantis administration look like? The last chapter of The Courage to Be Free: Florida’s Blueprint for America’s Revival, his second memoir, is titled “Make America Florida,” which seems to make clear that DeSantis hopes to bring his twisted views on freedom to the White House. Look no further than his legislative record for specifics: The governor’s pen has been used to enact countless bans and restrictions on issues ranging from reproductive rights to property rights. Since they’ve been spewed out so frequently—sometimes in the dead of night as with his six-week abortion ban—we’ve put together a list of some of the key bills DeSantis signed into law this session to help keep track of all his work.
Defunded diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts at Florida’s state colleges and universities
Prohibited public colleges from requiring students, faculty, and staff to express support for DEI initiatives prior to admittance or hiring
Signed an expansive immigration bill, in response to the expiration of Title 42—a controversial Trump-era measure that used an obscure public health authority to turn away migrants. The DeSantis bill:
- Directs $12 million towards relocating undocumented immigrants out of Florida
- Requires businesses to virtually verify their employees’ citizenship, prompting a boycott from truckers, who’ve threatened to stop delivering shipments in the state. (Several videos of drivers on strike and other workers standing in solidarity have gone viral on social media.)
- Prohibits local governments from issuing anyone who can’t verify their citizenship an ID card
- Mandates hospitals that accept Medicaid include a question about a patient’s citizenship on their intake forms
- Increases penalties for transporting a migrant across state lines to a third-degree felony
You can look at the entire bill here.
Prohibited Chinese nationals from buying land unless they are either American citizens or permanent residents
Imposed restrictions on citizens from specific countries—including China, Russia, and Venezuela—with non-tourist visas from buying land near military bases
Banned state officials from making investment decisions based on “environmental, social, governance” goals. Also known as ESG, these initiatives are often used to encourage companies to increase diversity and environmental sustainability efforts and have become a popular target in the GOP’s war against “wokeism.”
Escalating the ongoing legal feud between the governor and Disney, DeSantis signed a bill that effectively allows the corporate board he appointed to void Disney’s development agreements. In response, Disney filed a motion to dismiss the case.
Signed the “Heartbeat Protection Act,” a six-week abortion ban that prohibits physicians from performing the procedure in most cases. While the law includes exceptions for rape, incest, and human trafficking, the pregnant person is required to provide “a copy of a restraining order, police report, medical record, or other court order or documentation providing evidence.”
Allowed healthcare providers and insurers to deny patients medical care on the basis of religious, moral, or ethical beliefs
Signed a bill in which child rapists would be eligible for the death penalty (with a minimum sentence of life without parole), despite the Supreme Court already ruling capital punishment for the rape of a child unconstitutional in 2008
Eliminated unanimous jury decisions for the death penalty, making Florida the state with the lowest threshold for administering capital punishment
Authorized concealed carry without a permit and ended a state requirement to undergo training before carrying a concealed weapon outside the home
Signed a law blocking credit card companies from tracking firearm purchases
In the “Parents’ Rights in Education Bill,” he extended restrictions on the education of gender and sexual orientation in schools, which initially prohibited lessons from kindergarten to third grade, to the eighth grade.
Prohibits doctors from prescribing gender-affirming care, such as puberty blockers and hormone therapy, to transgender youths
Signed a measure prohibiting minors from attending drag shows
Passed an extensive bill containing several transphobic policies and restrictions, including:
- Mandating that students use the bathroom that corresponds to their biological sex, as opposed to their gender identity
- Signing a law that permits transgender children to be taken away from their parents if they’re receiving gender-affirming care
- Prohibiting doctors from prescribing gender-affirming care, such as puberty blockers and hormone therapy, to transgender youths