The U.S. Department of Justice announced a record settlement with Bank of America on Thursday that will provide $1 billion in relief for about 17,000 Floridians affected by the mortgage crisis. More from the Tampa Bay Times and the AP.
With temperatures in Central Florida dwelling in the 90s the past three days, thousands of air conditioners have been running nonstop from noon to night and setting records for electricity consumption. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]
When the 2015 Legislature convenes in Tallahassee, it is expected to have nearly $30 billion in General Revenue to create the state budget for FY 2015-16, according to a Budget Watch from Florida TaxWatch, the privately supported think tank examining government spending. Full report from Florida TaxWatch, here.
In today's economy, pinching pennies is par for the course, but depending on where you live it may be harder to stretch your dollar. The Tax Foundation, a nonprofit research organization, released a map showing how much a $100 bill will really get you in each state. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]
A federal judge on Thursday ruled Florida's gay-marriage ban unconstitutional and ordered the state to recognize marriages legally performed elsewhere. U.S. District Judge Robert L. Hinkle, however, immediately stayed his order until after the appeals process is completed. More from the Times/Herald and MSNBC.
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› Gainesville’s BioTork working on Hawaii expansions [Gainesville Sun]
BioTork’s technology involves developing algae and fungi that will feed on the agricultural waste to produce proteins and omega-3 oils needed for food in fish farms.
› Florida Polytechnic University opens with a bookless library [Library Journal]
The mission for Florida’s newest public university -- Florida Polytechnic University -- is to educate students in the STEM fields. Chief Information Officer Tom Hull describes it as part of a future “Silicon Valley East” between Orlando and Tampa. To be the future now, Florida Poly has opened using innovative, perhaps controversial, departures from tradition, including a no-tenure model for its 26 newly hired professors and a library without physical books.
› California property flipper moves into Southwest Florida [Sarasota Herald-Tribune]
One of California's largest real estate flippers is expanding into Southwest Florida, a sign the region's housing market continues to be attractive to corporate investors hunting for bargains.
› First Coast tourism breaking records [Florida Times-Union]
Tourism is booming on the First Coast and across the state, according to data recently released that show the number of visitors to the Sunshine State increased dramatically in the second quarter of 2014 running from April through June.
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› Miami Beach may ban commercial hand-billing in busy areas [Miami Herald]
Anyone who has walked down Lincoln Road or Ocean Drive has faced the barrage people hawking restaurant menus and party promotions along the sidewalk. The Miami Beach City Commission is looking into banning this kind of commercial solicitation.
› Solar lab teaches, and provides, alternative energy [Sarasota Herald-Tribune]
As Everglades University builds more alternative energy sources at its campus here, students are getting first-hand lessons they hope will lead to jobs in a growing field.
› Report: Poorest schools have more rookie teachers [Miami Herald]
Miami-Dade County schools officials responded to a report by the National Council on Teacher Quality that found rookie teachers work predominately at poor, under-performing schools.
› Gov. Rick Scott rolls out plan to increase per-student spending [Times/Herald]
Republican Gov. Rick Scott on Thursday announced a plan to raise per-student spending to a record level next year.