With Gov. Rick Scott’s push to cut taxes by a half-billion dollars, groups that represent a host of business interests are lining up to sell lawmakers on why their clients deserve the cut. While current estimates indicate lawmakers will have an additional $845 million in revenue to work with next year, it won’t be enough to grant everyone their tax cut wish. As a result, political jockeying has begun. More from the Florida Times-Union and the Miami Herald.
Ford's Garage, Fort Myers
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The exotic spice in dining sometimes can be history, which can be hard to find in a state as young, frantic and vacation-driven as Florida. Still, there are plenty of locales throughout the state where heritage is part of the menu. Full story...
Ten days into a partial shutdown of the federal government that has no signs of easing, Gov. Rick Scott’s chief of staff ordered that no state funds will be used to offset any federal programs that run out of cash as a result of the federal gridlock. [Source: Times/Herald]
The Florida Board of Governors rewarded the state universities with the most successful graduating classes with cash bonuses, and the biggest winners weren’t those with the highest-ranked football teams. The BOG handed out $20 million between the 11 universities based on three performance measures. [Source: South Florida Business Journal]
In a bid to stave off big flood insurance rate increases, Florida officials are supporting a lawsuit filed by Mississippi that challenges the recent overhaul of the National Flood Insurance Program. "This unfair rate hike could devastate Florida's real estate market and homeowners," Gov. Rick Scott said in a statement Thursday announcing his support. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› Video games help doctors prepare for surgery [Orlando Sentinel]
Surgeons at Florida Hospital Celebration Health have taken up playing video games. But it's not their new hobby — it's a way to get them ready for surgery. Dr. James "Butch" Rosser, a general surgeon, conducted research concluding that a six-minute warmup before scrubbing in made his colleagues more efficient in the operating room.
› State seeking major overhaul of juvenile justice system [South Florida Sun-Sentinel]
The Florida Department of Juvenile Justice is proposing a major overhaul of its mission, emphasizing prevention while keeping the most dangerous offenders from committing more crimes.
› Sea level rise threatening health of Florida Everglades [UPI]
Rising sea levels are threatening freshwater plants in Florida's Everglades, researchers say, which could spell problems for the plants and animals alike.
› Forbes ranks Rollins as No. 1 MBA program in Florida [Orlando Business Journal]
Forbes magazine ranked the Rollins College Crummer Graduate School of Business as the No. 1 MBA program in Florida and 52nd nationally.
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› New Roads Through Innovation Square will create Pedestrian-Friendly Blocks [Gainesville Business Report]
Construction has begun on new roads in Innovation Square in Gainesville with a goal of creating small, “walkable” blocks. This framework will facilitate interactions between individuals in the science and technology community.
› Nassau economic board snags award for high performance [Florida Times-Union]
The Nassau County Economic Development Board has received an award for being a “high performance” organization. A five-year plan called “Nassau Tomorrow” that launched initiatives to enhance business recruitment and marketing was credited for the high performance.
› Credit card debt drops in S. Florida [South Florida Sun-Sentinel]
As the holiday season approaches when many charge to buy presents, South Floridians have been whittling away their credit card debt. In September, the average credit card balance in Broward, Palm Beach and Miami-Dade counties had dropped $894 from a year ago to $4,470.
› Housing adding jobs in Southwest Florida [Sarasota Herald-Tribune]
Southwest Florida is showing stronger signs of recovery, driven again by retiree demand, according to a national housing and data consulting firm.