Intent on filling jobs on farms, in hotels and even at high-tech industries, Florida business leaders are joining a big push for immigration legislation that would bring in more temporary foreign workers while legalizing most of the state's illegal workforce. The business lobby – encouraged by recent proposals from U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla. – is giving a powerful boost to President Barack Obama's plan to overhaul the immigration system. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]
Five Florida companies made the annual list from Fortune Magazine. Large employers Darden and Publix made the list but so did some smaller employers, including Ultimate Software in Weston, which cracked the top ten. Read more from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel and see the full list.
It is called the modern-day slavery - human trafficking has enslaved an estimated two million people across the country and Florida struggles with the problem as well. Florida is the third largest human trafficking state, according to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center. [Source: First Coast News]
"Loyalty bonuses" offered by a giant garbage company trying to keep its chokehold in Broward County have some cities signing up for the cash while others question whether they are legal or ethical or benefit taxpayers. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]
NASA and SpaceX have not closed their investigation into an engine failure during a Falcon 9 launch last fall, but are confident the company’s next rocket will be safe to launch March 1 from Cape Canaveral to the International Space Station. [Source: Florida Today]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› Office Depot to get economic incentive check for keeping its headquarters in Palm Beach County [Palm Beach Post]
Office Depot will be getting a check in the mail shortly for $322,500 as part of its yearly Qualified Target Industry Tax Refund Program agreement, an incentive for keeping its headquarters in Palm Beach County and creating new jobs.
› Miami International Airport celebrates record year [Miami Herald]
Last year, the number of passengers increased 3 percent to 39.5 million, while cargo volume jumped 4.6 percent to 2.1 million tons. International passengers showed the most growth, up 5.2 percent to 19.4 million; domestic travelers increased one percent to 20.1 million.
› Sarasota tries to land 2017 World Rowing Championships [Sarasota Herald-Tribune]
After years of investment and building to make Southwest Florida a "world class" rowing destination, tourism officials and the area's largest real estate development firm say they will seek to bring the World Rowing Championships here in 2017. If successful, the championship regatta would be among the largest tourism draws in Southwest Florida history.
› Lockheed Orlando unit gets Army Apache contract [Orlando Sentinel]
Lockheed Martin Missiles & Fire Control Orlando has received an Army contract worth $90.6 million to provide logistics support for the Apache helicopter's advanced weapons-targeting system.
Go to page 2 for more stories ...
› Legal dispute over 'Taj Mahal' artwork ends with payment approval [Times/Herald]
A two-year legal dispute ended Thursday when the Legislative Budget Commission approved $514,884 in payment for framed artwork for the "Taj Mahal" courthouse for the 1st District Court of Appeals.
› NASA official named director of UCF's Florida Space Institute [Florida Today]
Ray Lugo, a longtime Kennedy Space Center manager and until recently director of NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Ohio, has been named director of the Florida Space Institute at the University of Central Florida.
› Rick Scott won't propose changes to Florida gun laws [Florida Times-Union]
Gov. Rick Scott plans no proposals to change any Florida gun laws, a spokeswoman said Thursday, though he still wants to hear ideas for improving the safety of schools.
› Boats smitten by Sandy selling in South Florida [South Florida Sun-Sentinel]
Flotillas of boats savaged by Hurricane Sandy are finding their way from the Northeast to South Florida, as insurance companies shed damaged goods and purchasers chase a good deal. "We've got a lot of people from your area that buy from us, tons of people from South Florida," said Ron Milardo, founder and owner of Cooper Capital Specialty Salvage of Old Saybrook, Conn.