June 14, 2024

As the political divide between the states becomes more pronounced, what political scientists call “sorting” may accelerate. The conservative Illinois billionaire Kenneth Griffin announced last week that he had moved to Miami from Chicago, and would take Citadel, his hedge fund, with him. He told his employees that Florida offered a better corporate environment.

At the same time, Ms. Caprara said the Pritzker administration routinely boasts of the state’s welcoming political environment, where abortion rights are codified and companies will never find themselves in the position the Walt Disney Company now occupies in Florida — squeezed between a conservative government constraining gay and transgender rights, and liberal consumers demanding a corporate pushback.

“Companies don’t want to have to deal with people boycotting their business, or struggling to get people to move to them, especially younger workers,” she said.

Joanna Turner Bisgrove, 46, a family physician at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, had worked her whole professional life in Oregon, Wis., a small town south of Madison, when her hospital was purchased by a Catholic health care chain, that began restricting abortions and transgender care. After the Wisconsin Legislature took up the issue of transgender girls in sports, she said, friends of her gender-fluid child became magnets for bullying so bad that it made the local news.

Nearly a year ago, the Bisgroves finally moved across the red-blue border, to Evanston, Ill., where, Dr. Bisgrove said, her children would be accepted and her medical practice could thrive.

“In the end,” she said, “my morals would not square with what I could do.”

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