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FEA Wants a 10 Percent Pay Hike for Teachers, $2.4 Billion Increase in Education Funding

August 29, 2019 - 6:00am
Florida Education Association President Fedrick Ingram

A week after the state Board of Education approved a $22.3 billion fiscal 2021 budget request, Florida's largest teachers union crafted an alternate proposal that includes a 10 percent across-the-board pay raise for every public school employee in Florida.

The salary increase is part of the Florida Education Association’s (FEA) 10-year, $22 billion “Decade of Progress” initiative that, if implemented, would lift Florida from the bottom 10 nationally in per-student funding into the top 10.

Still Feelin' Sunny in the Sunshine State: Job Growth, AAA Bond Rating, Tourism

August 20, 2019 - 9:00am

Florida recorded a second straight month of job gains after four months of stagnant growth in employment, according to figures released Friday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics [BLS].

Since July 2018, Florida employers have created 227,000 jobs — 128,000 since January — for an annual growth rate in employment of 1.3 percent, more than any state other than California and Texas.

Democratic Leader Gibson Demands Gun-Control Bills Get Heard This Time

August 17, 2019 - 8:15am
Audrey Gibson

Florida Senate Democratic Leader Audrey Gibson is pushing for gun control legislation to be included in Senate President Bill Galvano’s call for lawmakers to find ways to “better understand the various factors involved in mass shootings,” including “white nationalism,” during the 2020 legislative session.

Florida Rep. Mike Hill Will Try Again to Get 'Red Flag' Laws Abolished

August 15, 2019 - 6:00am
Mike Hill

With the nation reeling from mass shootings in Texas and Ohio, one Florida lawmaker -- known for sponsoring controversial bills -- has pre-filed 2020 legislation seeking to do away with “red flag” gun control measures adopted in the wake of the Valentine’s Day Marjory Stoneman Douglas school shooting in 2018.

Rep. Mike Hill, R-Pensacola, pre-filed House Bill 6003 on Friday. For the legislative session beginning Jan. 14. He filed a similar bill during the 2019 legislative session that did not get a committee hearing.

DeSantis Asks Supreme Court to Define ‘Completion of Sentence’ in Felon-Voting Dispute

August 12, 2019 - 8:00am
Ron DeSantis

Gov. Ron DeSantis wants the Florida Supreme Court to issue an advisory opinion on whether convicted felons must pay all fines and fees before their voting rights are restored under Amendment 4, the November 2018 ballot measure approved by 64.5 percent of state voters.

In a Friday letter addressed to Chief Justice Charles Canady, DeSantis asked for the court’s opinion on what, exactly, “completion of all terms of sentence including parole or probation" means in context of the measure.

Linda Stewart's Bill to Ban 'Assault Weapons' Is Her Fourth in Four Years

August 10, 2019 - 7:00am
Linda Stewart

After praising Senate President Bill Galvano for authorizing a review to “better understand the various factors involved in mass shootings,” including “white nationalism,” Sen. Linda Stewart, D-Orlando, pre-filed a 2020 bill seeking to ban three types of semi-automatic firearms.

The bill is the fourth filed in four years by Stewart proposing to prohibit specific semi-automatic so-called “assault weapons” and restrict magazine capacities.

Midwestern States Better for Retirees than Florida? Financial Services Corporation Says So

August 8, 2019 - 7:15am
Really, Bankrate? Nebraska?

With nearly 20 percent of Florida’s 21.3 million residents at least 65 years old, the Sunshine State -- with its blue-plate specials, senior discounts, over-55 communities -- has been a retirement mecca for generations.

But that apparently doesn’t mean it’s the best place in America to retire.

According to a July ranking by BankRate, that honor goes to Nebraska.

Workforce Quality, Economic Uncertainty Worry Florida's Small Businesses the Most

July 26, 2019 - 6:00am
Stuart: Small businesses, the heart and soul of downtown

Florida lawmakers over the past decade have adopted bills designed to grease the “talent pipeline” in competing for high-tech economic development.

Doing so is also a priority of the Florida Chamber of Commerce’s campaign “to champion the best possible education and close Florida's talent gap.”

But at least one component of Florida’s employers remain concerned about finding the quality workforce they need to compete – small businesses, especially those with five or fewer employees.

Military Presence in Florida Responsible for a $75 Billion Economic Boost

July 17, 2019 - 9:00am
Florida Army National Guard in Palm Beach County

Florida’s Department of Economic Opportunity [DEO] has distributed more than $2.9 million in grants for infrastructure and economic development programs to support communities reliant on the 21 military installations across the Sunshine State.

“As a veteran, I know the value in supporting Florida’s military installations and their surrounding communities,” Gov. Ron DeSantis, who served in the Navy during the Iraq War, said in a statement accompanying last week's DEO announcement.

Florida Is a 'Climate Litigation' Target, Warns National Manufacturers Group

July 12, 2019 - 6:30am
Florida Supreme Court

Activist groups lobbying municipalities nationwide to file lawsuits against utilities as part of a two-decade climate litigation campaign have changed tactics and are now targeting energy manufacturers. That's a shift posing significant repercussions for business, industry and consumers.

While “climate litigation” is now targeting “manufacturers in the energy sector” -- oil and natural gas companies, refiners, fuel transport, coal gas producers, distribution, sales and retailers, including gas stations – ultimately, consumers will pay should a lawsuit be successful.

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