This exorbitant amount of taxpayer dollars going to companies making record profits is bad enough on its own – but Florida’s business lobby didn’t stop there. Despite DeSantis’ supposed priority to impose strong new data-privacy protections on companies, special interests managed to kill that bill for a second year in a row. Corporate interests also successfully passed what has been called the “mother of all preemptions,” allowing corporations to sue local governments if they pass an ordinance that impacts at least 15 percent of their profits. Teams of corporate lawyers will soon be able to potentially stop wage theft ordinances, minimum wage raises, anti-pollution initiatives, and other laws that would benefit working Floridians.
It’s easy to see how cozy relationships between elected officials like DeSantis and corporate elites influence public policy. Thomas Peterffy, the billionaire chairman of Interactive Brokers, has donated $250,000 to the Governor’s political action committee, and openly calls DeSantis “my favorite man.” Citadel’s billionaire owner Ken Griffin also ranks as one of the Governor’s top donors.
Florida is in dire straits. Only one other state in the nation has a worse ranking on income inequality. Florida is also near the bottom of other state rankings, coming in 48th in tax fairness and 44th in education spending. These results clearly indicate that policies which prioritize corporate interests over Florida taxpayers simply do not work. The Sunshine State cannot continue to operate as a piggy bank for corporations and the ultra-wealthy while millions of its residents are crushed under the weight of stagnant wages and rising costs of living.