As Florida lawmakers open their annual legislative session today and the governor gives his fourth State of the State address, overshadowing everything for the Republican-controlled Legislature is one overriding goal: the re-election of Gov. Rick Scott. [Source: Times/Herald]
Lucy Morgan [Photo: Ryan Ketterman]
Former Tampa Bay Times political reporter Lucy Morgan shares tales of her past. “I think we are in a moment in time when we have no one in either legislative body or in the governor’s office who can lead any kind of change.” Access full story here.
Small business owners have a unique advantage — and that’s the ability to mix business and pleasure when it comes to travel. Done right, it is possible to enjoy a few days of much-needed R&R while also lowering your tax bill. [Source: Forbes]
After a 10-day delay to the launch, tax season is in full swing. Some 10.2 million Florida residents will submit tax returns this year, and more than 8 million will be filed electronically. [Source: Sarasota Herald-Tribune]
Almost a year after the Florida Department of Environmental Protection launched a review of its conservation lands looking for $50 million worth that it could sell as surplus, the agency is ending the program without having sold a single acre. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› Consumers register fewer complaints to Florida banking authorities [Miami Herald]
As the economy picks up, consumers registered fewer bank-related complaints in Florida in 2013, compared to each of the previous five years, according to a report released Monday by K.H. Thomas Assoc. of Miami.
› State returns more unclaimed property, cash [South Florida Sun-Sentinel]
The Florida Bureau of Unclaimed Property is returning millions of dollars more in unclaimed property — from cash to jewelry — than it did a year or two ago. The agency paid or returned property worth $221 million in 2013, up from $216.6 million in 2012 and $210 million in 2011.
› Max Planck Florida gets $1 million gift for research [South Florida Sun-Sentinel]
West Palm Beach philanthropists Alexander Dreyfoos and his wife, Renate Dreyfoos, have donated $1 million to fund research at the Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience in Jupiter.
› Waiting for Jeb [The Hill]
The 2016 presidential election is Jeb Bush’s now-or-never-moment. As other potential GOP standard-bearers have been hit by scandal or seen their luster fade, many Republicans desperately want the former Florida governor to get in the race. His allies say he is considering it more seriously than ever before.
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› Florida firm to pursue sunken gold in Ohio dispute [AP]
A Florida company says it has an agreement to recover the remaining gold from a ship that sank off the coast of the Carolinas in 1857 in one of the worst maritime disasters in American history.
› Earnings triple for Florida’ largest private property insurer [South Florida Business Journal]
Universal Insurance Holdings, the owner of Florida’s largest property insurer outside of state-run Citizens Property Insurance, saw its profits more than triple in the fourth quarter.
› Lawmakers to consider "collegiate high schools" [Orlando Sentinel]
Florida's high school seniors could attend "collegiate high school" programs -- and earn up to a year of college credit -- under a bill proposed in the Florida Senate.
› Crises in Ukraine, Venezuela put Florida Sen. Marco Rubio back in spotlight [Miami Herald]
The crisis in Crimea and the violence in Venezuela are making Marco Rubio a hot ticket again on cable news. Having faded somewhat from view after the conservative blowback over his immigration bill, Florida’s Republican senator is back to being a must-book for the 24-hour news beast.