Make no mistake — the reason the Florida governor is leading a hunting party to Illinois looking to bag businesses is primarily the fault of Republican and conservative donors and those they’ve given large amounts of money to over the past many years. Here are Cole Lauterbach and John Haughey:
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is planning a series of trips to Illinois to convince businesses to move to the Sunshine State.
DeSantis recently told the Enterprise Florida board about the recruitment effort. He the deep pension debt in Illinois and Chicago make them unattractive places for businesses.
“Warren Buffett said recently to be wary of investing in states like Illinois that, quite frankly, are digging themselves a deeper hole and really have no way out in terms of their fiscal outlook, their pension obligations,” DeSantis said. “That is going to impact the viability of investing.”
As governor, DeSantis leads Enterprise Florida, a public-private partnership focused on economic development in the state.
He announced plans to take envoys from Florida to the Chicago area, hoping to draw businesses away from Illinois.
Other states also have come to Chicago and other parts of Illinois to try to bring businesses back with them.
A migration study by Lending Tree found Florida’s relatively low property taxes and lack of an income tax were the main drivers behind the state’s projection to add 330,000 people a year and top 30 million in total population by 2030.
According to Census Bureau data from 2011 to 2017, Florida was one of the states where the most Illinois residents moved to, second only to Wisconsin and Indiana.
Census data showed Florida gained more residents from other states than any other state in the nation in 2018, gaining more than 130,000 people in the 12 months that ended in July.
In February, DeSantis also went to New York to pitch the state’s business-friendly regulatory environment, meeting with financial industry chieftains in Manhattan, including executives with TIAA, Macquarie, Biggins Lacy Shapiro & Co. LLC, BDO, JPMorgan Chase and DTCC.
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