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Governor DeSantis Highlights Education in State Of The State Address

Gov. Ron DeSantis at a press conference in Winter Park in January announced a change in the state's approach to smokable medical marijuana. Photo: Christian Simmons, WMFE
Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Thursday that he will drop a challenge to smoking medical marijuana if the Legislature doesn't rewrite the law next March. (Christian Simmons)

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis delivered his first State of the State address this morning.

DeSantis said he is committed to protecting Florida’s environment and water, keeping taxes low and prohibiting sanctuary cities.

He also highlighted Florida’s education system and said that he was happy with how far the university system in the state has come.

“Now I’m proud that Florida’s university system is ranked number one in the nation, ahead of Texas, California, and New York," he said. "Now many of you know firsthand, this wasn’t always so. The climb atop the rankings has been remarkable.”

USNews.com ranks Florida as the No. 1 state for higher education in the country.

DeSantis also said he wants to promote vocational education, expand voucher programs and replace common core.

In her response to the State of the State, Democratic Senate Minority Leader Audrey Gibson rebuffed DeSantis’ education plan, saying the Florida Constitution does not mandate using tax dollars to pay for private schools or building those schools where good public schools already exist.

DeSantis also said he would be tougher on immigration and that he will not allow Florida to become “a sanctuary state” while he is in office.

“We will not allow someone here illegally to commit criminal misconduct and simply be returned to our community," he said. "And we won’t tolerate sanctuary cities that actively frustrate law enforcement by shielding criminal aliens from accountability at the expense of public safety.”

DeSantis also pointed out a couple from Jacksonville whose son was killed by a foreign national who had been deported twice, reiterating that he hopes to prohibit sanctuary cities.

In her response, Gibson pointed out that sanctuary cities don’t currently exist in Florida and accused DeSantis of attempting to take advantage of anti-immigrant sentiment.

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