Well, everyone, we did it. We survived all the political ads, commercials, debates and information overload that comes with every election.

Yes, some of the races are not over yet and are in the process of a recount, but I’m not here to talk about that. That’s for lawyers and judges to sort out.

The important thing is that we, as voters, did our job. We participated in our democracy by casting our ballots. And while it may seem like we can sit and relax for two years, the truth is that there is a lot more to come.

Before we get into the what’s next, I want to first take a moment to congratulate Sen. Wilton Simpson and Rep. Ralph Massullo on their successful re-election campaigns. These two lawmakers have always had Citrus County’s interests at heart and I know they will continue to serve us well in the years ahead.

I sincerely hope they were able to save up some energy during their campaigns because there are just a scant few weeks in between the election and the start of preparations for the 2019 legislative session. That’s right, next week the legislature will get things started with an organizational session where newly elected legislators are sworn into office and legislative committee structures are announced.

A couple of weeks after that they will hold their first of a series of committee weeks scheduled to run through February. The first one will happen the week of Dec. 11, followed by the weeks of Jan. 7, Jan. 22, Feb. 4, Feb. 11 and the final one the week of Feb. 19. These committee weeks are very important as this is where a lot of bills are introduced that will be discussed and voted on during session.

Of course, these meetings are all in preparation for the 2019 legislative session which is scheduled to start on March 5, 2019, and end on May 3, 2018. These 60 days represent the pinnacle of legislative activity for Florida, and it’s truly amazing how much happens in such a short period of time. Not only are hundreds of bills heard and debated, but the ultimate responsibility of the legislature, the passing of a state budget, must happen in this window of time.

While session can be a chaotic time of the year, it also serves as the perfect opportunity to engage once again in the democratic process and touch base with the people we put in office. At Florida Realtors, we do just that by hosting our annual Great American Realtor Days, which is happening March 18-20 this year. If you happen to be in Tallahassee during that time, get ready to witness a thousand energized Realtors roaming the halls of the capitol and advocating on behalf of Florida’s property owners and the real estate industry they support.

I know we are all a little election-fatigued at the moment, but as citizens of the greatest country in the world we should never stop engaging in the political process. Our voices make all of this possible and I encourage you to stay active and stay informed until the next deluge of political ads start driving us crazy again.

Cheryl Lambert — legislative chair for the Realtors Association of Citrus County — is the broker/owner of the Only Way Realty Citrus. She is a past president of the Realtors Association of Citrus County in 2013, past District 7 vice president of Florida Realtors in 2014 and is currently Florida Realtors 2018 treasurer. She is an active broker/owner who specializes in affordable/attainable housing and is active in legislative issues surrounding this topic.

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