Rick Scott needs to remember what he promised

Give me a break. For more than a decade, Republicans have had total domination over everything in Florida government and consequently treated business like royalty — often at the expense of rank-and-file residents.

Corporate income taxes are among the lowest in the nation. And Republicans granted tax breaks to everyone from bottled-water companies and high-end yacht-makers to the wealthiest investors.

Meanwhile, your costs to get a drivers license more than doubled.

Rick is right that people need a change from "business as usual" in Florida. But it's not the CEOs and lobbyists who paid $25,000 for the "Commemorative Vineyard Vines tote bag" he gave out for his inauguration.

Still, I did see a glimmer of hope.

In the midst of all the gifts Rick bestowed upon those who paid for his $3 million party — both literally and in terms of promised legislation — he did one important thing to rankle the business crowd Tuesday.

He signed an executive order requiring that all state agencies and — more important — their contractors run E-Verify checks on their employees and hires to make sure they are legal citizens.

It's a good first step.

But any serious efforts to combat illegal immigration would require all employers to verify that they have made legal hires. It should be the law of the land — no matter how loud the objections from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and businesses that profit from cheap and illegal labor.

Like many of the pressing issues facing our state and nation, we cannot continue to placate and subsidize Corporate America while crushing the middle class.

Not by looking the other way during illegal hiring. Not by jacking up working families' power bills to please CEOs. And not by allowing developers to disrupt communities and pave unspoiled land.

All that stuff, Governor, has already happened in Florida. And it stinks — no matter what you heard from the lobbyists who paid $25,000 to sit near you in the same parade-viewing stand.

Scott Maxwell can be reached at smaxwell@orlandosentinel.com or 407-420-6141.