What you need to know about Florida today
Millions of Americans are buying tickets for Wednesday's $500 million Powerball lottery, and you'd think that would mean a big economic boost for the 43 states participating. That's not a sure bet. It's a big infusion for state coffers. But some experts wonder if state economies would get more of a boost if consumers bought goods and services instead of lottery tickets. [Source: CNNMoney]
» Powerball: Florida a winner no matter what
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For the first time, the U.S. Department of Education has put out a state-by-state comparison of graduation rates using a common method of calculation. It showed that Florida’s 71 percent graduation rate in the 2010-2011 school year put it among the worst in the nation. [Source: Palm Beach Post]
The head of a new committee in the Senate set to focus on gaming issues says he expects the panel to conduct a thorough study of gambling in Florida instead of moving quickly. "It would be very appropriate to try to take a comprehensive look at gaming for the state of Florida," said Sen. Garrett Richter, a Naples Republican. [Source: Fort Myers News-Press]
To make way for a proposed network of sprawling toll roads, Florida transportation officials are considering reserving tracts of remote timberlands, cattle ranches and phosphate mines from some of the state's largest landowners. According to a memo released this week by the Florida Department of Transportation, five companies who own a combined 5 percent of the land in the state support the concept of Future Corridors. [Source: Times/Herald]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› Campaign aims to stop feared termite from spreading
A dangerous Caribbean termite that's consuming trees, walls and ceilings in Dania Beach will be the target of a renewed eradication campaign, with state officials saying this may be their last chance before the species spreads through South Florida.
› Community foundation offers solution for year-end giving
With the end of the year quickly approaching, many people are starting to think about year-end giving and how they want to allocate their available funds. It can, however, be difficult to decide where to dedicate your money and is often a hassle to manage your yearly contributions.
› JEA gives $2.4 million in bonuses to employees
JEA has written $1,250 bonus checks to every employee of the city-owned utility after reaching a series of safety and cost-saving goals. The payouts cost JEA about $2.4 million.
› Opinion: Fairness for Florida merchants
As more Americans turn to their computers and smartphones for holiday bargains, Florida remains stuck in the dark ages, content to leave roughly $803 million a year on the table in uncollected sales taxes for purchases made online.
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