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Monday's Daily Pulse

Florida companies stash billions abroad

Florida's largest companies are holding at least $9.4 billion in foreign profits, shielding the earnings from U.S. income taxes, according to an Orlando Sentinel review of financial statements. And the amount is growing: The review found that the Florida companies added $1.2 billion to their offshore holdings during their most recent fiscal year, a 15 percent increase from their prior fiscal year. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]

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Changes at Florida Dept. of Corrections

chris Southerland Chris Southerland, deputy assistant secretary of re-entry at the Department of Corrections, says "once we started realizing these programs are important and they are changing people's lives and this does affect the crime rate in the community, it just makes sense." Story here.

In 2009, Florida’s prison growth seemed to be out of control. The state’s inmate population had topped 100,000 for the first time and was projected to grow another 20% over the next five years. At that rate, corrections officials warned, they’d need to build 19 prisons at a cost of $2 billion. Alarmed by the costs, business groups, including Florida TaxWatch, Associated Industries of Florida and the Florida Chamber began urging Florida’s tough-on-crime Legislature to embrace a different correctional philosophy. Full story...

Reducing hospital readmissions key to reform

Most South Florida hospitals are improving their quality of care by one important measure under federal healthcare reform: reducing the number of Medicare patients readmitted within a month. [Source: Miami Herald]

Are self-employed Cubans really budding entrepreneurs?

While the Cuban government initially declared that it wanted to move 500,000 Cubans off state payrolls by April 2011 and another 800,000 by the beginning of 2012, it has fallen far short of those targets. And there is a vast gray area in this world of so-called cuentapropistas, where the self-employed function on the fringes of legality. [Source: Miami Herald]

More seniors head into the golden years with debt

Battered by the Great Recession, earning a pittance on their savings, paying more for soaring medical care and struggling to help their children and grandchildren, some older adults are headed into their final years with high credit card balances and second mortgages. And they’re having a hard time digging out of debt. [Source: Miami Herald]


› Low-income schools struggle under state’s grading system
With dozens of changes in just the past three years, the formula behind Florida’s A-to-F school grading system has been criticized as a confusing mess. But there’s been at least one constant in Miami-Dade and Broward results: The wealthiest schools never get Fs, and schools with high populations of poor students face an uphill battle to even get a C.

› Fewer players, healthier banks
Written by Dick Hogan Filed Under Business And then there were seven. Banks based in Lee and Collier counties, that is – a third of the 21 that existed 10 years ago. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. recently released the second-quarter results for the reports all federally chartered lending institutions are required to file.

› Sales tax receipts on the rise in Southwest Florida
Business and consumer spending picked up the pace in the second quarter, pushing Southwest Florida sales tax receipts up about 8.2 percent year-over-year.

› AutoNation to be bigger, more digital, leaders say
Already the country's largest auto dealer chain, three years from now AutoNation will be significantly larger, farther ahead of its rivals and using much more digital technology in its selling and servicing of cars.

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› New way to find businesses online
Did you know that today, 97 percent of us look for businesses online? Did you know that 58 percent of businesses nationally and 68 percent in Florida are not online? Meaning that if you have a business that is not online, and your customers are looking for you or someone who does what you do, you are losing a lot of business.

› Tourism panel approves $94.5M soccer, venues deal
Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs raised their arms in victory Friday after winning a key tourism board's support for a $94.5 million package that includes a new stadium for a Major League Soccer team. "Teamwork makes the dream work," said Dyer, borrowing from a motivational book title. "Orlando nets a big goal."

› Gainesville's pension worsens, but officials expect a positive turn
Across the country, the recession’s impact on the stock market, a growing number of retirees with longer life expectancy and strong retirement benefit packages have combined to spell dire circumstances for many municipal pension programs. Gainesville’s pension plans for police/firefighters and general employees, which have historically been among the strongest performing in the state, have not been immune.

› Fans are watching Tampa Bay Rays on TV — a popularity that could pay down the road
Tampa Bay-Sarasota is the country's 14th largest television market and fans here tune in at higher rates than average. What's less clear is whether the Rays will ever be able to cash in on that popularity.