Though Mr. DeSantis has spent much of the past year traveling and campaigning outside the state, his sweeping policies have touched many corners of Floridians’ lives, prompting supporters to welcome his return to day-to-day government and critics to worry about which issues the governor, who is term-limited, might tackle in his final three years.
“He’s the kind of politician that’s out there for himself — he’s not listening to us,” said Jamie Maniscalco, 33, a registered Democrat who moved to Hollywood, Fla., near Fort Lauderdale, from Virginia in 2019. “They’re banning books, they’re banning dictionaries in school, and now his Republicans in the House and Senate are trying to completely outright ban abortion care.”
Ms. Maniscalco helped gather signatures for a ballot measure that would once again allow abortions up to 24 weeks of pregnancy in the state, she said. Mr. DeSantis signed laws banning abortion after 15 weeks, and then after six weeks. (The six-week ban has not yet taken effect.)
“I can’t be a Floridian for much longer,” Ms. Maniscalco said. “I’m engaged, and I’m thinking about having kids, and it will not be in this state.”
She and others, including some voters who back the governor, said Florida had become too expensive, with home and food prices, rent and property insurance rates all climbing during Mr. DeSantis’s tenure. Last fall, several Florida cities had among the highest inflation rates in the country.