Is it just me, or do Florida Republicans just really hate not being evil?
We talk a lot of shit about Florida—about how it’s filled with crazy white people, how it looks like America’s dong and how the GOP dicks in office reflect that image—and sometimes I do feel like the state gets a bad rap…but not today.
On Thursday, a Florida state senator from the Republican Order of the Sith proposed a measure that would block felons from being included in the $15 minimum wage increase that the state approved last year. I mean, who wouldn’t think it’s a good idea to restrict the formerly incarcerated, who already have plenty of obstacles in finding gainful employment, from earning a livable wage on the outside, amirite? Who knew the law-and-order GOP was so pro-recidivism?
Bill SJR 854—which was introduced by Sen. Jeffrey Brandes (R-St. Petersburg)—specifically allows soulless lawmakers to “reduce the Minimum Wage rate for prisoners in the state correctional system, reduce the Minimum Wage rate for employees convicted of a felony, reduce the Minimum Wage rate for employees younger than 21 years of age, [and] reduce the Minimum Wage rate for other hard-to-hire employees.”
What the fuck are “hard-to-hire employees” and why the fuck is Brandes so hellbent on making their lives more financially difficult? The answer is simple: Florida is an armpit where the GOP refuses to stop acting as an anti-deodorant.
From The Appeal:
The Florida legislature has long treated grassroots ballot initiatives with open contempt. In 2017, after more than 70 percent of state voters elected to legalize medical marijuana, state lawmakers responded by temporarily making it illegal to smoke medicinal weed. In 2018, when a supermajority of Floridians voted to return voting rights to at least 1.4 million formerly incarcerated people, the GOP-dominated legislature passed a glorified poll-tax that made sure that 800,000 of those people remained ineligible to vote. This week, like clockwork, the state Republican Party—dominated by pro-Trump apparatchiks and a smaller Libertarian-minded wing—has launched its plan to kneecap the minimum wage increase, which passed with over 60 percent approval.
So what brilliant justification did Florida Man in a suit come up with for why such a harmful and reprehensibly apathetic measure would even be necessary. Well, according to the regressive, rat-infested utopia of white fuckery that is his Twitter feed, Brandes is pretending to believe the measure will only help felons find jobs.
“Because the unemployment rate for those groups before the wage increase was 20%+ it will be much higher after without this,” Brandes said in one response to smart people who know he’s proposing some dumbass shit.
Brandes cited whichever studies he could find that says what he clearly wants to be true—all of which only address teen employment, not that of felons and the formerly incarcerated—while completely ignoring the numerous studies that say otherwise. Smart people would call that confirmation bias while Republicans and graduates from the YouTube School of Pulling Non-Facts Out of Your Ass call it “research.”
I just wish that hateful and vile excuses of mutated human excrement like Brandes would just be honest and say they hate felons, young people, poor people and non-whites instead of being so manipulative that they laughably claim they are only trying to help.