December 19, 2014

Friday's Daily Pulse

What you need to know about Florida today.

Voters to decide business property tax cut this November

A tax cut to help small businesses immediately — and larger ones down the road — will go before Florida voters this fall. The Florida Senate voted 40-0 on Thursday afternoon to put a proposed constitutional amendment on the ballot that would cut property taxes on machinery, furniture and other business equipment known as "tangible personal property." The measure would immediately remove from the tax rolls any accounts with $50,000 or less worth of tangible property. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]


Brainstorming to end South Florida's brain-drain

The steady exodus of young professionals out of South Florida — and into cities such as Seattle, Denver and Houston — has come to be referred to as the region’s “brain drain” problem. And it’s a problem that local economic leaders are deeply concerned about. [Source: Miami Herald]


As veterans battle unemployment, are companies doing their part?

On any given day, you will find Brian Reynolds recruiting new hires at a job fair, military base or a South Florida workforce office. In his industry, where turnover is high, tapping the abundant talent pool of returning veterans has been a bonanza for his company, G4S Secure Solutions, a security services provider. Unfortunately, Reynolds finds most businesses aren’t as enthusiastic: “There are some excellent companies out there recruiting, but it’s always the same companies. With the huge amount of returning veterans and the huge amount of unemployment, we need to see more.” [Source: Miami Herald]


Could retiring doctors leave state in a bind?

Florida has one of the oldest doctor workforces in the country, whose retirements could leave parts of the state without the primary care doctors, nephrologists, obstetricians and oncologists the state's aging population needs. [Source: Gainesville Sun]


Legislature passes bill to let UF, FSU make higher tuition hikes

Without debate, the Florida Senate passed a bill that would give the University of Florida power to make unlimited tuition increases. The measure, which already passed the Florida House, would allow state universities that meet 11 of 14 academic and research standards to increase tuition beyond the current 15 percent annual limit. Currently only UF and Florida State meet the threshold. [Source: Gainesville Sun]


ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:

› Natural gas station opens at Tampa International Airport
Tampa International Airport will be celebrating the grand opening of the bay area's second compressed natural gas station today. Over the next five years, the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority will spend about $1 million converting some of its fleet of maintenance and shuttle vehicles over to a more sustainable fuel.

› Trump has big plans to restore luster to Doral's Blue Monster
Donald Trump's appetite for real estate is grander than most everyone else's, and so is his outlook on gardening. Sharing his vision Thursday for the Doral resort, his latest land grab, the Donald spoke of plans to renovate the TPC Blue Monster as a grandiose gardening project. "I have friends that are very successful people, and they love to garden. And I like to garden, too, I guess in a much bigger way," Trump said. "I also love tremendous acreage."

› Orange Park students become gardeners with state, business help
Students at Lakeside Elementary School in Orange Park recently planted a vegetable garden on campus, as part of the state-funded Gardening for Grades program. Sponsored by the state Department of Agriculture, the program is designed to cross curriculums in settings inside and outside the classroom.

› Scripps Florida names new top scientist
An executive at the National Institutes of Health will take over as senior director of scientific operations at Scripps Florida in May. Dawn Johnson, 40, will succeed Harry Orf, who left last month for a job at Massachusetts General Hospital. Johnson is associate director for science management in the Office of the Scientific Director at the National Institutes of Mental Health.


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