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Legislative session kicks off in Tallahassee: What to watch

Following lawmakers into 2020 are many old measures from last year, including voting rights for convicted felons, roads, and gun control.

Tuesday is the first day of the new legislative session in Florida and for lawmakers, it's their first day back to work in the new decade.

Following them into 2020 are a lot of measures from last year, including voting rights for convicted felons, roads and gun control. 

New this year is Gov. Ron DeSantis' nearly $1 billion proposal for a salary increase for teachers. He wants to raise the minimum salary for them to $47,500 to recruit and retain teachers. 

Teachers believe more should be done to help the state's schools. Thousands rallied in Tallahassee Monday.

Also, it will soon be a little harder to avoid toll roads. In the coming weeks, we're expected to see where the 300 miles of new highways down the west side of the state will go. This measure already got signed off on last year, but since then, there's been a lot of opposition from environmental advocates. That's because the three major highways are planned to go through natural land that protects our drinking water.

The Senate president is also trying to ease fears by looking at policies that promote water access and broadband access in the areas around the highways. He's also stressing that the highways would be evacuation routes.

Another topic to watch this session is voting rights for convicted felons. Voting rights were restored to them under Amendment 4 in 2018, but last year lawmakers made it so this could only happen after a convicted felon paid all of their court-ordered fines, fees and restitution.

That law requiring convicted felons to pay everything off is now being challenged. It's going to trial in federal court over whether or not it's constitutional. 

Those who support restoring voting rights want the part about paying to be eliminated, but it's unclear how far lawmakers will go. Some people expect lawmakers will make voter application forms simpler to do something on the topic of voting.

RELATED: ACLU suing Florida for new law requiring felons to pay court fees before voting

Climate change is also on the table this year. Environmental groups want lawmakers to create energy goals to cut greenhouse gas emissions. 

DeSantis has proposed a $6-million grant program for local governments to help fight sea-level rise and the state will also most likely be working with Volkswagen to make more electric buses. However, there isn't much of a sign that, besides this, more efforts to battle climate change will happen.