What you need to know about Florida Today
Florida's GOP-dominated Legislature has packed the November ballot with 11 proposed amendments dealing with everything from taxes to abortion. Florida Trend has broken each amendment down into what it is and what it does. You'll also find out who sponsored the amendment, learn who its proponents and opponents are, read a background of the amendment and hear about budget ramifications if the amendment passes. Amy Keller reporting.
Note: This week, Florida Trend will bring you highlights from the Democratic National Convention -- especially as the stories relate to Florida politics and Florida business. The DNC begins today and runs through Thursday in Charlotte, N.C.
Florida Republicans may not want to read this story. As the Democratic National Convention begins this week, Florida Democrats are staying in one of Charlotte's best hotels, the Marriott City Center, a five-minute walk from where the festivities will take place. The size of the Florida delegation swelled this year to 363 -- which includes 300 voting delegates, the highest number ever. "It underscores just how Florida is going to be one of the most important states in this year's elections," said Brannon Jordan, communications director for the Florida Democratic Party. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]
- Wasserman Schultz says she’s grown "alligator skin" as DNC chair
- Gainesville's delegates fired up for Charlotte
- Democratic National Convention draws record number of Latino delegates
- Comparing Tampa to Charlotte: Atmosphere in Charlotte more free, fun
Financial institutions in Florida maintained their money-earning ways in the second quarter, although overall profits dipped from the start of the year. According to the FDIC, the state's 217 banks and thrifts earned a combined $160 million in the quarter ended June 30. That was up from an $80 million profit a year earlier, but down from the $172 million earned in first-quarter 2012. [Source: Sarasota Herald-Tribune]
Related column from the Miami Herald:
» Florida bankers spread the word about a new IRS rule
Bankers are fighting the regulation that requires them to report interest information on accounts held by non-resident foreign depositors.
Voters are not confident that the government will provide new generations the benefits now granted to older Americans. Few say they believe that either Obama or Republican challenger Mitt Romney have a practical answer for sustaining an insurance program that accounts for nearly a fifth of federal spending and about 4 percent of the U.S. economy. “I just assume Medicare won’t be there for me at all,” said Christine Pallesen, a 26-year-old business consultant in Fort Lauderdale. [Source: AP - Washington Post]
Florida’s last-resort insurer Citizens and its contractors rejected more than 90,000 reports from inspectors they hired to determine whether customers qualified for property-insurance discounts. The bottom line after reports were kicked back: approximately $50 million in higher bills for customers. The results have made homeowners furious. For some, annual premiums have doubled. [Source: Palm Beach Post]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› South Florida program teaches artists how to become art-preneurs
A Broward County program that teaches business principles to artists has helped open the world of entrepreneurship to hundreds of artists across South Florida. The Artist as an Entrepreneur Institute is just one of a growing number of local programs designed to promote the creative economy.
› Not all businesses got a boost from RNC
A clear picture of the RNC's economic impact likely will take months to emerge. Boosters estimate direct spending for the RNC will total $175 million or more, with the money coming from the government, donors who gave to support the convention and delegate spending on hotel rooms, meals, transportation, gifts and other purchases. But an early snapshot shows both winners and losers.
› Progress Energy Florida seeks 6 percent rate cut
Progress Energy Florida is seeking a 6 percent rate reduction for residential customers in 2013 due to lower fuel and purchased power costs. The proposal would cut the overall bill for 1,000 kilowatt hours per month, which is about average, by $7.44 down to $115.75.
› Travelers staggered by Cuba's new customs taxes
A steep hike in customs duties took effect in Cuba on Monday, catching many air travelers unaware and leaving some shocked at the new fees. Nelida Diaz, a Cuban-American who arrived with her husband for a visit to the island where she was born, said she was astonished when officials docked her $588 at customs.
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