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Caruso’s take on Tallahassee

State Rep. Mike Caruso described his first session in Florida’s capital as “busy and exciting.”

The legislature signed a $9.1 billion budget. Gov. Ron DeSantis hasn’t signed it yet, Caruso told community leaders at the monthly Federation of Boca Raton Homeowner Associations gathering early Tuesday.

What DeSantis did sign on his Israel trip was a bill using the federal language for anti-Semitism. The bill also requires public schools and universities K-20 to treat bias the same way as racial discrimination, he said.

Caruso was upfront about why he backed a sober homes bill that prosecutes patient brokering offenses. After his son Michael got involved with drugs, he was treated and readdicted until his insurance ran out. Then abandoned on the streets. Michael recovered and helped his dad get elected by knocking on thousands of doors, he said.

Caruso was among introducers of a bill that required employers to bear the full cost of treatment, provide death benefits and disability pay for fire fighters disabled by cancer.

As a Republican, he departed from his party to vote against a bill that would have extended sales tax money to charter schools after Palm Beach County voters defeated it, he said.

The District 89 state rep got applause for mentioning money set aside for red tide research and “taking a new look at water levels.”

It was probably a good idea to send a CPA to Tallahassee, federation chairman Craig Fox kidded the certified public account.

Caruso publicly thanked his wife Tracy, who was there, for helping him forge personal relationships as a new legislator.

Mayor Scott Singer thanked Caruso and his staff for “reaching out to me to ask what more do we need” during the legislative session.

Here’s a rundown of other budget money and grants that affect Boca Raton in Caruso’s May message to constituents.

By Marci Shatzman