February 11, 2023

One would think that any legislature would want to ensure that its taxpayers’ money is spent inside the state or for purposes that at least seem to benefit them. But Florida’s Republican legislature seems more interested in enabling the performative stunts of their authoritarian, presidential-wannabe governor.

From NBC News:

Florida lawmakers passed a bill Friday expanding a program used to fly migrants to Democratic-led cities and states. Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration will now be able to relocate migrants elsewhere from any state in the country, not just from Florida.

The bill formally creates the Unauthorized Alien Transport Program, building out a program enacted by DeSantis last year that enabled government officials to fly migrants to destinations in blue states that have sanctuary policies in place.

The bill seems to be aimed at protecting DeSantis from a Democratic state senator’s lawsuit over the governor's Fox-News-friendly stunt of flying migrants from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard. “The new legislation would address that issue, allowing Florida officials to transport migrants from anywhere in the country — a modification that could nullify the suit,” NBC noted.

But the bill also authorizes DeSantis “to build out the expanded program by granting contracts to companies tasked with doing so,” according to NBC. Which suggests that it will also allow him to use public funds to reward his cronies and donors, no matter how shady, as he did with the Martha’s Vineyard stunt.

The bill passed along party lines and now awaits DeSantis’ signature. NBC quotes DeSantis spokesperson Jeremy Redfern saying the governor will review it “and decide on the merits of the bill as presented."

I think we all know how DeSantis will interpret “the merits.”

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