State economists say Florida on pace for $1 billion surplus
Economists slightly lowered their forecast of tax dollars flowing into the state but still project lawmakers to be on track to have at least a $1 billion surplus for the next budget. Members of the Revenue Estimating Conference lowered their outlook — last made in March — due in part to changes in revenues such as corporate-income taxes, real-estate taxes and highway-safety fees. More at the Miami Herald and the AP.
Jacksonville dredging project prompts more debate as job creation predictions jump
The consultant whose 2009 study has provided rhetorical ammunition for Jacksonville political leaders pursuing a project to deepen the St. Johns River — and has been a source of frustration for skeptics of the effort — vigorously defended his track record Thursday and doubled down on his findings. More at the Florida Times-Union.
Fewer hurricanes predicted in updated forecast
Camera collectors in Florida
Forecasters upped the odds for a slow hurricane season Thursday, predicting even fewer storms as record strong winds in the upper atmosphere keep a lid on brewing storms. More at the Miami Herald.
How will charter schools deal with their corruption scandals?
Charter schools were originally conceived as centers of experimentation and innovation where educators could try new approaches quickly on a small scale with a minimum of paperwork. Many charters have lived up to that promise, but that same openness that allows new ideas to flourish may also have left the sector vulnerable to a dangerous level of corruption. More at the Washington Post.
The Battle Of Online Vs. Land-Based Casinos
State governments are struggling to find new sources of revenue to breathe life into their budgets. One of the main reasons many support the legalization of online casinos is the belief that such a move would help boost state tax revenues and stimulate such economies More at Forbes.
He may be among Florida's most famous politicians, but who is Charlie Crist? Charming or scheming? Focused or distracted? Disciplined or reckless? Tampa Bay Times reporters Michael Kruse and Adam Smith have interviewed more than 100 people to bring you an in-depth and unprecedented portrait of the former Republican-now-Democrat who is running for governor.