Laying out his high priorities for a second time period and a possible platform for a presidential run, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis delivered a State of the State speech Tuesday that conspicuously averted a lot of the divisive rhetoric that has fueled his political ascent however nonetheless signaled one other spherical of cultural wars is coming within the weeks forward.

DeSantis asserted that his landslide November victory was a “vindication” of his contentious agenda throughout his first time period and a mandate to “shoot for the celebs” and “swing for the fences” within the coming 12 months. He inspired lawmakers to “ignore all of the background noise” as they deal with a prolonged listing of priorities which are positive to enrage Democrats however animate future Republican major voters.

“We discover ourselves in Florida on the entrance traces within the battle for freedom,” he mentioned. “Collectively, we’ve made Florida the nation’s most desired vacation spot and we’ve produced historic outcomes. However now’s not the time to relaxation on our laurels.”

The remarks laid the groundwork for what is anticipated to be a breathless dash by the GOP-controlled legislature to rack up coverage wins that might kind a platform to launch DeSantis’ extremely anticipated bid for the White Home.

DeSantis notably kept away from utilizing the phrase “woke” in his remarks – a staple of the political speeches he has delivered in latest months – and wasn’t almost as combative towards President Joe Biden. He largely targeted on extra agreeable matters like enhancing schooling, assuaging site visitors congestion and championing truck drivers, law enforcement officials and nurses.

However he additionally chastised the “biomedical safety state” that required Covid-19 vaccines and vowed to completely ban mandates associated to coronavirus mitigation, an outlier place that helped DeSantis emerge as a conservative star through the pandemic.

“We defied the specialists, we bucked the elites, we ignored the chatter,” DeSantis mentioned. “We did it our approach, the Florida approach.”

DeSantis has urged or endorsed proposals touching each aspect of the tradition wars: proscribing abortion, permitting hid firearms in public with out coaching and common college alternative. There are payments concentrating on drag reveals, liberal protections and so-called “woke”-banking.

Ron DeSantis State of the State 0307 SCREENGRAB

Moments earlier than DeSantis’ remarks started, laws was filed that might ban abortion after six weeks besides in circumstances of rape and incest and make it unlawful to ship abortion medicines via the mail. DeSantis in his speech nodded to supporting efforts to “shield life” however averted specifics. He additionally signaled assist for legislative efforts to observe steps taken by his administration to ban therapies for transgender kids.

“Our faculties should ship a superb schooling, not a political indoctrination,” DeSantis mentioned. “It’s unhappy that we’ve to say this, however our youngsters should not guinea pigs for science experimentation, and we can not enable individuals to make cash off mutilating them.”

Lots of the proposals are aimed toward lecture rooms. In a invoice addressing Okay-12 faculties, lecturers can’t be advised they have to use a scholar’s most well-liked title and pronouns and discussing gender identification and sexual orientation and gender identification can be prohibited matters till highschool. On school campuses, gender research can be banned, as would variety and fairness applications, and hiring choices will fall into the arms of board members largely appointed by DeSantis.

DeSantis has mentioned he’ll formally determine on whether or not to leap into the 2024 race after the legislature completes its work, a timeline that might imply an announcement in Could or June. However DeSantis is already taking steps to construct out a political staff for a possible run and lately huddled with donors, elected Republicans and conservative influencers in Palm Seashore, the place they plotted technique and coverage in former President Donald Trump neighborhood.

His out-of-state journey has additionally picked up. Whereas lawmakers meet over the subsequent 60 days, DeSantis is anticipated to spend the subsequent couple months on the street selling his new e book, “The Braveness to Be Free.” DeSantis is scheduled to journey to Alabama on Thursday earlier than heading to the early nominating states of Iowa and Nevada this weekend.

DeSantis’ agenda is anticipated to face little resistance within the Republican-led legislature, the place lawmakers have repeatedly succumbed to political strain from the favored governor previously and seem carefully aligned heading into the upcoming session.

Certainly, within the hour earlier than DeSantis’ remarks, Senate President Kathleen Passidomo advised her members she thought-about DeSantis “really America’s governor.”

“The eyes of the nation are on Florida this 12 months,” she mentioned. “Let’s present America the way it’s executed.”

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