Floridians deserve a thriving and resilient economy, with quality jobs that offer living wages. For too long Florida's leaders have prioritized tax code spending over investing in diversifying the economy, including jumpstarting equitable infrastructure and funding projects to preserve Florida's natural resources.
From roads and bridges to schools and sewage systems, infrastructure provides the foundation on which the state is built. Infrastructure investments ensure that residents have safe water and air, connectivity between cities and towns and schools, libraries and other facilities in every community. Florida’s natural resources are critical not only for driving tourism and the state economy, but also for maintaining biodiversity in the face of growing threats to the environment.
Such large-scale projects require a significant investment by the state with an eye toward the future needs of the state’s growing population. They also require a robust workforce that can both provide the labor needed to fuel Florida's economy, but also be able to afford the cost of living and achieve economic stability.
Florida has fallen behind in providing adequate resources or policies to ensure equitable growth in any of these areas. The state of Florida has significant infrastructure needs, and in many cases, aging infrastructure in need of upgrades and repair. Large-scale infrastructure projects, such as the proposed M-CORES toll road project, are often implemented to the detriment of environmental conservation and the needs of local communities.
The Sunshine State’s investment in conservation and environmental protection has also eroded over the past couple of decades, while environmental problems like the toxic algae blooms in Lake Okeechobee have grown. All the while, the state has seen a rise in low-wage jobs that hardly afford workers any financial stability, let alone the opportunity to achieve economic mobility.
In order to create a truly thriving and resilient economy, Florida needs to increase its investment in its infrastructure, natural resources, and workforce. Floridians, businesses, and visitors alike benefit when our workers and our natural and built environment are able to contribute to our long-term, sustainable economic growth.