Wednesday's Daily Pulse
What you need to know about Florida today
Florida construction companies anticipate more work in 2017, but labor shortage looms
The "Help Wanted" sign is popping up at construction sites around Florida. Most Florida contractors say they plan to boost their workforces by 25 percent this year, but that's the same level as a year ago -- even though work is booming and more is anticipated in 2017. More from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the Tampa Bay Times, and WFTS.
As more states set aggressive hikes in minimum wages, Florida pay starts to lag
Florida's long been branded as a low wage state. Now it may soon become known as a low minimum wage state, too. That's apparent when Florida is compared to the 28 other states whose minimum wages are higher than the $7.25 an hour minimum wage set by the federal government. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]
|How Florida minimum wage is falling behind|
|STATE||MIN. WAGE 2017 VS. 2016||WAGE GAIN OVER ONE YEAR||TOTAL ANNUAL PAY|
|Florida||$8.10, up 5 cents||$104||$16,848|
|Arizona||$10, up $1.95||$4,056||$20,800|
|California*||$10.50, up 50 cents||$1,040||$21,840|
|Illinois**||$8.25, stays $8.25||$0||$17,160|
|Michigan||$8.90, up 40 cents||$832||$18,512|
|Washington||$11, up $1.53||$3,182||$22,880|
|Ohio||$8.15, up 5 cents||$104||$16,952|
|New York***||$9.70, up 70 cents||$1,456||$20,176|
|21 States***||$7.25 federal min. wage||$0||$15,080|
|* For California business with 26 or more employees. Smaller firms remain at $10.
** No change for Illinois, but Chicago's wage is $10.50, rising 50 cents every July through 2019. *** New York's minimum wage is higher in New York City and several nearby counties. **** States lacking a minimum wage or with ones less than federal minimum must pay $7.25.
Florida House set to look for ways to cut budget
House members are expected to consider how they would cut the state budget by anywhere from $1.1 billion to $2.2 billion as part of an exercise toward making the next spending plan balanced. [Source: WJXT]
Gov. Scott: Florida should cap fees at colleges and universities
Dubbing his new higher education agenda "Finish in Four, Save More," Scott outlined his pitch on Tuesday for more affordable degrees and a quicker path to graduation. He wants to freeze all fees at state colleges and universities and broaden Bright Futures scholarships to cover summer classes. See a summary of Gov. Scott's “Finish in Four, Save More” legislative and budget initiatives, here. Also read more at the Gainesville Sun, and the AP.
» Do you support Gov. Scott's new higher ed plan (quick poll)
Despite shootings and Zika, Florida tourism remains strong
Despite two cases of open-fire shooting in less than a year and the emergence of the Zika virus, any damage to Florida’s travel market because of the events seems to be minimal, and several indicators show that tourism to the state is thriving. [Source: New York Times]
› Glitches leave Florida Blue policyholders showing as canceled in system
Computer glitches have resulted in thousands of Florida Blue health insurance policyholders being told they have no insurance — forcing some to cancel appointments or pay full price for medical services in hopes of being reimbursed later.
› Florida board votes to accept Patriots Point submarine for underwater attraction
Patriot Point's Cold War submarine is another step closer to becoming an underwater attraction for marine life and divers off the coast of Florida.
› Bradenton Area EDC hires former Enterprise Florida manager
The Bradenton Area Economic Development Corp. has hired a former regional manager for international trade development at Enterprise Florida Inc. to serve in a new position as director of business development.
› Orlando team helps tech firm make CES splash
A platform meant to simplify Miami-based Carnival Cruise Line customers' experience in much the same way Walt Disney World's MagicBand tech has is embedded with technology built in Orlando.
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