Orlando columnist breaks down Florida’s top 5 special interest groups

Scott Maxwell breaks down pressure points for lawmakers on Florida’s Fourth Estate

ORLANDO, Fla. – Nobody goes to Tallahassee wanting to get elected thinking, “You know what my goals are? It’s not schools, it’s not education, it’s not better roads: I want homeowners to get less credit for the clean energy that they generate.”

But Orlando Sentinel columnist Scott Maxwell said lawmakers can get pulled into some pretty strange positions by Florida’s special interest groups.

The Cambridge Dictionary describes a special interest group as “a group of people who have particular demands and who try to influence political decisions involving them.”

Recently, Maxwell sat down with Matt Austin and Ginger Gadsden on Florida’s Fourth Estate to break down his top five list of special interests influencing how our government works.

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His list includes:

1.) Power Companies

“A lot of your viewers probably remember last year there was a big (bill) that ended up passing the legislature that wanted to give residential homeowners who have solar energy less credit for the energy they generate to run their homes,” Maxwell said.

2.) Tourism

“There’s been a lot of hubbub about the battle between the Governor (Ron DeSantis) and Disney over the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ (law) and the Reedy Creek (Improvement District), but the reality is tourism is still pulling the strings and Disney was still pulling the strings with Ron Desantis,” Maxwell said.

3.) Insurance Companies

When it comes to lawmakers helping homeowners with insurance issues, “the solutions they often come up with are about as effective as a screen door on a submarine,” Maxwell said.

4.) Big Sugar & Big Agriculture

Maxwell said Big Sugar has traditionally been a “powerful force here really responsible for fowling the Everglades, which we turned into a virtual toilet bowl down in South Florida.”

5.) The Governor

“There is nothing, there is no force really shaping public policy in Florida right now more than Ron Desantis,” Maxwell said.

Hear more from Maxwell about why he said these special interests wield the most power in our state and how it impacts people across Florida on Florida’s Fourth Estate.

You can download it from wherever you listen to podcasts or watch anytime on News 6+.

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About the Author:

Tiffany produces the News 6+ Takeover at 5:30 p.m., Florida's Fourth Estate and Talk to Tom.