August 23, 2014

Thursday's Daily Pulse

What you need to know about Florida today

| 4/10/2014

Entrepreneurial activity drops in 2013

As the nation's employment rate continued to improve, America's overall business creation rate fell in 2013 for a second consecutive year, according to the annual Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurial Activity released Wednesday. Florida’s rate was 0.34 percent, ranking 8th in the country. [Source: Miami Herald]


Over-criminalization in Florida

Florida overcriminalization costs taxpayers, hurts public safety

Florida could save significant corrections costs by reducing prison sentences for nonviolent offenders, according to data analysis in a new report from Florida TaxWatch. The report, "Overcriminalization In Florida," calls for the state to review options to reduce the prison population through downgrading offenses and implementing alternatives to incarceration for nonviolent, level one and two offenders. Read more.


Florida bitcoin case tests money laundering limits

Florida has become the first state to bring criminal money laundering charges in a case involving the virtual currency bitcoin. It's a case that could test whether current law can adapt to new digital forms of payment. [Source: AP]


Business owners gird for new flood insurance battle

The law signed by President Obama gives a reprieve from sharply higher flood insurance rates for many owners of older homes in flood-prone areas; what it doesn't do is stop huge rate increases from hitting some owners of commercial properties and second homes. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]


Florida's orange production is declining

Orange harvesting ends in June, and if the crop doesn't decline further, it will barely exceed the 110.2 million orange boxes harvested in 1989-90 following the worst freeze in Florida citrus history. [Source: AP]


ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:

› 50 percent fewer students to receive Bright Futures
Tougher new requirements mean Florida is likely to offer only half as many Bright Futures scholarships this fall compared to last year, according to a new report. About 21,340 students are expected to be eligible for the merit-based scholarship this fall, down from 41,107 last year.

› Florida's best-water title won by a squirt of a utility
In a smack-down for statewide bragging rights between the Goliaths of water utilities and some not big enough to be called Davids, the little guys won. The lopsided contest for the title of best water in 2014 pitted heavyweights such as Orlando Utilities Commission against rural systems.

› South Florida’s newest road hazard: toll scammers
If you received a letter from something called Toll Enforcement, LLC, demanding payment for overdue highway tolls, ignore it. It’s a flim-flam.

› Palm Beach County opens door to importing trash
Palm Beach County Wednesday agreed to pursue importing trash to make more money at a new incinerator, despite public backlash to becoming a regional dumping ground.


Go to page 2 for more stories ...

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