What you need to know about Florida today.
Florida’s pension system trails most states when it comes to the ratio between employees paying into the system and pensioners taking benefits out of it, according to a new Census Bureau report. The report ranks Florida 35th out of the 50 states on that measure, with 1.6 public workers in its $134 billion pension system for every beneficiary, according to 2011 figures. [Source: Miami Herald]
Florida's voter purge efforts are suspended for now, but the lawsuit over the removal of suspected non-citizens from the rolls drags on. The U.S. Department of Justice sent subpoenas to nine of Florida's county election supervisors, demanding extensive information as to how the counties may have sought to remove non-citizens from the voter rolls. The information must be provided by Aug. 17, just three days after next week's statewide primary election. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]
Wanda Kos, the daughter of Costa Rican immigrants, is the mother of three, including one son who just joined the military. Her husband works as a chef, and she's a stay-at-home mom in this area called New Tampa, where suburban-style developments spread out for miles. In the last election, she says, she voted for President Obama. This time around, she says, she's on the fence. Read or listen to the full story from NPR.
Florida’s economy is slowly putting on muscle, packing away increased tax collections which could keep the state from facing another troubled budget next spring, analysts said Thursday. The legislature should have a relatively robust, $2.6 billion more revenue for the 2013-14 budget, the state’s Revenue Estimating Conference concluded. [Source: Palm Beach Post]
An oil boom in North Dakota is paying dividends for the small Escambia County town of Walnut Hill. Houston energy company Genesis Energy is building an oil transfer station in Escambia to store oil before transferring it west by pipeline to refineries. Full story...
Neal Bjorklund (right) is overseeing work on Genesis Energy’s oil transfer station, which will create up to 30 permanent jobs in Escambia County.
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› Why Plant City is a can't-miss on the campaign trail
National political candidates love visiting Plant City. It's in a swing state, in a swing county. It's right off Interstate 4, so it's easy to get to on the way to Tampa or Orlando. Plus, it offers the perfect backdrop of Americana, with strawberry farms and a quaint downtown.
› Will USF expansion help revitalize north Sarasota?
A proposed expansion of the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee campus might be just the jolt Sarasota officials have pined for along the economically languished North Tamiami Trail, the primary entree into downtown.
› NASA's 'green' planetary test lander crashes
Earlier this week NASA safely landed a robotic rover on Mars about 150 million miles away. But on Thursday here on Earth, a test model planetary lander crashed and burned at Kennedy Space Center in Florida just seconds after liftoff.
› Miami port wins Foreign Trade Zone status
The U.S. Department of Commerce has approved PortMiami’s bid to be a Foreign Trade Zone, a move that port officials hope will help create jobs and increase international trade flowing through the downtown Miami port.
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