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Flurry Of Controversial Bills Mark The Final Stretch Of The Legislative Session

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Frank Torres (l) and Dick Batchelor. Photo: Matthew Peddie, WMFE

The 2021 legislative session ended with a flurry of controversial bills, defining a contentious two months in Tallahassee for lawmakers. From the  bill focused on voting to legislation targeting the participation of transgender athletes in school and college sports, we unpack the session with political analysts Dick Batchelor and Frank Torres. 

“It was a really bizarre home stretch leading down to the sine die,” says Torres.

“And it was really interesting and a little bit scary, those last couple of days to see what they were going to pull off before everybody else went home.”

Batchelor says Gov. DeSantis appears to be laying the groundwork for a presidential run.

“What does his campaign look like when he runs for president in three years?” says Batchelor.

“That’s what he’s really looking at. So if you look at whether it’s the anti-riot legislation, if you look at the voter suppression legislation, this transgender legislation,  it is always about, can you satisfy and appeal to that Trump base? That’s all it’s about.”

Torres says he supports the effort to improve the security of elections.

“Anything that can improve the security of the results, especially with, you know, the lack of a lack of faith that people are having in the system. And with all of this, with such a wild Election Day environment that we’ve had the last couple of cycles, I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing.”

Candidates already have the 2022 election in their sights- including former governor Charlie Crist, who this week launched a bid to get his old job back.

Batchelor says his chances are “not very good.”

“I don’t know whether Charlie Chris is gonna get a lift or not on this but if he gets faced by somebody like, you know, Val Demings or Stephanie Murphy, he’ll get pushed back because I think people want a new fresh face on the scene.”




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Matthew Peddie

About Matthew Peddie

Host of WMFE's Intersection & Assistant News Director

Matthew Peddie grew up in New Zealand and studied journalism at the University of Western Ontario. After graduating with an MA in Journalism he returned to Christchurch, working as a reporter for Radio Live and Radio New Zealand. He’s reported live from the scene of earthquakes, criminal trials and rugby ... Read Full Bio »