This year’s Florida legislative session ended with the traditional handover of reality with the dropping of a white cloth in the Capitol Rotunda by two leaders of the House and Senate.
It’s called “Sine Die,” which is Latin for “Boy, we’ve royally screwed up the country again!” How weird.
Of course, Gov. Ron DeSantis, along with his Republican backers in the Florida Legislature, have been busy drone-ing this session, broadcasting all kinds of nonsense in their ongoing efforts to turn this state into 1984 and The Stepford Wives.
Yet they have not done enough to address the single, most pressing issue facing all Floridians—Republican to Democrat, liberal to conservative, young to old, white to black to Hispanic to Asian to Native American, from gay to straight.
We all have to deal with the draconian, skyrocketing costs of homeowners insurance. It affects us all, it threatens our security, the quality of life of the country and our future.
And what did DeSantis and his Republican minions do about it? Crickets. Okay, okay, if you want to be picky, the Legislature gave new powers to state regulators to investigate and fine insurers. But it came amid a special session on property insurance in December that aimed to reduce litigation and stabilize premiums by — wait for it — making it harder for homeowners to sue insurance companies. Thank you very much.
A simple question: If you are a senior citizen living on a fixed income, are you more worried about being able to stay in your home? Or are you more annoyed with the drag queens the Republican-controlled Legislature imposed bans on, as if the Wagner group were trying to invade Yeehaw Junction?
If you’re a young couple looking to buy their first home, are you more worried about being forced out of the market because your insurance will rival your mortgage payment? Or are you thankful that the Legislature dedicated itself to repealing a Florida law that required the governor to resign from office if he announced his doomed fantasy of becoming the next president? There is now a piffle profile for you.
If you’re a renter, are you more worried about having to write a bigger and bigger check every month because your landlord got hit by the boom in insurance costs? Or are you instead thankful that Tallahassee crooks focused on passing a six-week abortion ban, effectively reducing every woman in the state to extras in The Handmaid’s Tale ?
During this session, while millions of Floridians were reduced to insurance serfs, the Florida Legislature seemed oblivious to their plight. There were more important things to do.
It was more important to pass a bill allowing morons to walk around carrying guns without a permit or any remotely semblance of firearms training.
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It was more important to blow up New College and rebrand it as an evangelical madrassa. Can we expect snake handling majors? Speaking in tongues? Witch burning?
It was more important to pass crazy legislation that keeps the public from knowing who she’s dating and where she’s going Governor De Garbo, RI Want To Be Alone. This is a public service, not the witness protection program.
It was more important to pass a bill gutting the home rule, requiring cities and counties to use less restrictive land use regulations, which of course was nothing more than a big, fat, sloppy air kiss to development interests .
It was more important to throw thousands of low-income children in Florida off Medicaid.
More important was making it harder to register to vote and vote in Florida.
For the governor, it was more important to go on a world ridicule tour to promote his expected presidential campaign, where he visited Japan, Israel and London. Early reviews of the visit suggested the governor was considered a lightweight and impossible guy with all the charm and personality of Blazing Saddles’ Mongo.
Yet not a dime of relief for Florida residents burdened by their insurance premiums. Why so? Not important enough? Too busy with other political mischief? Too hard?
Never mind that according to The Guardian, citing a study by the Center for Popular Democracy, insurance interests poured nearly $4 million into the governor’s political action committee and another nearly $6 million into the coffers of the Florida Republican Party.
Oh, and the $125,000 in insurance interest contributed to the governor’s second inauguration event probably didn’t hurt either.
Perhaps all of this goes to show that you get what you pay for. Absolutely nothing. Such a deal.