Gov. Rick Scott on Thursday unveiled details of a $74.2 billion budget proposal — the largest in Florida history. Scott, who is seeking re-election in 2014, proposes to increase spending statewide by $4 billion, including $1.25 billion more for education. Much of that would cover a $2,500 teacher pay raise and a pension fund contribution that won't be felt in classrooms. [Source: Times/Herald]
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Enterprise Florida and Gov. Rick Scott unveiled the state's first official business brand today, a theme that economic development officials will use to attract more business to Florida. “Florida - The Perfect Climate for Business” combines the state’s reputation for having superb weather with attributes that make it an attractive place for companies to relocate or plan a startup. More from the Tallahassee Democrat and the Tampa Bay Times.
Got the sniffles? While conventional wisdom may tell people to stay home if they're ill, more people are heading to work when they're sick. The reason: Experts said employees are hesitant to stay home from work if they don't have dedicated paid sick leave. [Source: Naples Daily News]
A business or corporate blog can be an integral part of your marketing and communications strategy and can become a valuable asset. Such social platforms as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are in the headlines as more businesses and brands adapt to these new technologies. All of these tools work together, and a blog can be an ‘unsung hero’ in your marketing and communications mix. [Source: Florida Today]
The Florida Supreme Court says the Legislature rather than the Board of Governors has the authority to set tuition rates at state universities. The seven justices were unanimous Thursday in affirming an appellate court ruling that previously reached the same conclusion. More from the AP and the Tampa Bay Times.
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› AutoNation to stamp dealerships with its brand name [South Florida Sun-Sentinel]
There's McDonald's for burgers, Amazon for books and now, AutoNation for cars. At least that's the aim behind an announcement Thursday by the No. 1 auto dealer in the country that stores coast to coast will carry only its brand name: AutoNation.
› No more what to wear to work decisions at Osceola courthouse [Orlando Sentinel]
Osceola County Clerk of Court Armando Ramirez leaves no question about what he wants his 160 employees to wear. Three weeks after taking office, Ramirez has issued the most detailed dress code for courthouse workers in Central Florida.
› Owner says contracts signed for Shops at St. Pete [Tampa Bay Times]
Eight national tenants have signed contracts with The Shops at St. Petersburg and will open when the revamped BayWalk debuts in the first quarter of 2014, according to owner Bill Edwards. Two are restaurants and six are retailers.
› Can you claim money from BP settlement? [WBBH]
This week, oil giant BP learned they will have to pay $4 billion in criminal penalties relating to the deadly Deepwater Horizon explosion in the Gulf of Mexico. The payouts do not stop there and attorneys are spreading the word to potential clients.
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› Astrotech wins $9.1 million commercial payload processing contract [Florida Today]
Astrotech Corp. announced that its Florida operation has won a contract for commercial payload processing services. Under the $9.1 million agreement, NASA can ask Astrotech to provide payload processing facilities and services for NASA missions launching from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station until 2017.
› Florida legislative leaders soften stance on nuclear advance fee law [Tampa Bay Times]
State legislative leaders continue to soften Tallahassee's once rock-solid support for a law that allows utilities to charge customers in advance for new nuclear projects.
› Judge throws out $3.1 million award against Related developers [Miami Herald]
The jury found that the company had wrongfully manipulated the zoning process in a condo deal, but the judge said the developers’ actions did not target a group that fought the zoning change and had sued for the money it had spent.
› $1.7M study to help figure out how trains will link with airport [Orlando Sentinel]
Three train systems want to connect with Orlando International Airport within the next couple of years, but no one can say for sure how, much less if, they ever will. A $1.7 million study could answer those questions, as well as allow airport officials to seek federal money to help pay for possible connections.