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They came for Florida's sun and sand. They got soaring costs and a culture war.

Florida has seen a population boom in recent years, but many longtime residents and recent transplants say rising costs and divisive politics have them fleeing the Sunshine State.

The reverse migration out of Florida isn’t just among newcomers, but also among longtime residents who said they can no longer afford to live there and are uncomfortable with the state’s increasingly conservative policies, which in recent years have included a crackdown on undocumented immigrants, a ban on transgender care for minors, state interventions in how race, slavery and sexuality are taught in schools, and a six-week ban on abortions.

After more than three decades in the Tampa Bay area, Donna Smith left the state for Pennsylvania in December, with politics and rising insurance costs playing a major role in her decision to leave.

“It breaks my heart, it really does, because Florida was really a pretty great place when I first moved there,” Smith said.

Having grown up in Oklahoma, Smith considered herself a Republican, but as Florida’s politics shifted to the right, she said she began to consider herself a Democrat. It wasn’t until the past several years, though, that politics started to encroach on her daily life — from feuds between neighbors and friends to neo-Nazis showing up at a Black Lives Matter rally in her small town.

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by Anonymousreply 3April 2, 2024 1:34 PM
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by Anonymousreply 1April 2, 2024 1:25 PM

We sort of did this yesterday... Florida sucks, Yankee go home

by Anonymousreply 2April 2, 2024 1:30 PM

4th Reich with bugs.

by Anonymousreply 3April 2, 2024 1:34 PM
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