Three months after a gunman killed 26 students and teachers at a Connecticut elementary school, lawmakers in Florida are proposing a flurry of bills aimed at making schools more secure. Some of the ideas are getting serious consideration. Read more from the Tampa Bay Times and see our Legislative Roundup below:
» Florida hospitals lobby lawmakers to expand Medicaid
» Legislature to take up special permits for Canadian drivers
» Make the right call on texting and driving
» Florida Legislature must face homeowner insurance debacle
» Bill would put an end to ex-spouses getting permanent alimony
» State legislators consider crackdown on Enterprise Florida
» Bill curbing surveillance drones passes committee
Florida will receive about $395,000 out of a nationwide $7 million settlement with the search giant Google over its collection of personal information from unsecured wireless networks. Attorney General Pam Bondi announced the settlement Tuesday. Google also agreed to train employees about privacy and confidentiality for the next 10 years. [Source: AP]
Inside South Florida’s Ultimate Software, where there’s an indoor basketball court and smiling workers, you could ask the same question that is being asked about Google: Is the company successful because its employees are happy or are they happy because the company is successful? This chicken or egg debate gets intriguing when you consider management philosophy and growth at both of these companies. [Source: Miami Herald]
It's not your grandfather’s retirement, not nearly as cut and dried. It’s not the simple picture of stopping work at 60 or 65, moving to Florida and devoting oneself to golf and bridge — not that it was ever totally that. Nowadays retirement is all over the map. [Source: New York Times]
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As the number of renters increases and empty homes abound, some people are finding creative ways to get themselves into new homes — without paying for them. If recent trends in South Florida are an indication, any vacant dwelling can become a target. Even occupied ones are sometimes not safe. And once people are in, it proves difficult to get them out. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› Bike sharing may come to Orlando, but not on taxpayers' dime [Orlando Sentinel]
Peter Martinez wants to set up a bike-share program in Orlando, just like the ones that have swept into cities throughout the state, nation and world. But he is not having much luck so far, in part because he is seeking free city property for his bike racks.
› Palm Beach County building fees going up after seven-year break [South Florida Sun-Sentinel]
Palm Beach County building fees are going up, but not as much as once planned, because of concerns from builders and developers, county commissioners decided Tuesday. The county hasn't raised fees on new homes and businesses since 2006 because of the economic downturn and drop off in construction.
› Pinellas County considers a ban on Internet sweepstakes cafes [Tampa Bay Times]
Pinellas County is considering banning Internet sweepstakes cafes, but before it does, county commissioners want to know whether the cities would go along with it. At a meeting Tuesday, the board voted to send letters to Pinellas' 24 cities to ask whether they would opt out if Pinellas passed a complete ban.
› Brevard spaceport bill on hold [Orlando Sentinel]
The countdown for legislation designed to attract new aerospace businesses to the Space Coast is in a temporary hold in the Legislature, as the House bill's author works to fix a glitch in the state's economic projection for a new "spaceport" at a Brevard County airport.
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› JIA named top five among North American airports in customer service [Florida Times-Union]
Service at Jacksonville International Airport is so good that the facility is ranked among the top ten best airports in North America for service quality. The Airports Council International named JIA as the fifth best airport on the continent as part of the Airport Service Quality Awards for 2012.
› For tourism, February still a reminder of better days [Miami Herald]
Amid record tourism counts, Miami-Dade still awaits another milestone February. New numbers may reveal one any day now, but so far February 2007 remains the record in terms of a key industry benchmark: revenue-per-room. It was $192.69 during February 2007, when Super Bowl came to town and the recession was still nine months away from starting in December.
› Florida business mission to Chile set for May [World City]
Gov. Rick Scott is preparing to lead a Florida business mission to Chile from May 20 to May 23, the state’s economic development group Enterprise Florida announced. About 100 business and government leaders are expected to travel to the South American nation of 17 million people, the latest of more than half a dozen overseas mission led by Scott since he took office in 2011.
› Boca Raton stem cell bank to expand [South Florida Sun-Sentinel]
With a new infusion of capital, AssureImmune plans to expand by opening a public bank. That would enable hospitals and doctors to find a potential match for a patient who needs a procedure. It can be difficult to find a match in a diverse region like South Florida, the company's top executives say.