Friday's Afternoon Update
What you need to know about Florida today
Florida House, Senate release competing state budget plans
The Republican-led Florida House and Senate on Friday released competing budget proposals for the upcoming year with major funding differences in areas such as education and the environment — and an uncertain future for millions of dollars in Seminole Tribe gambling money. The legislative plans also differ in many ways with the $91.3 billion spending blueprint proposed last month by GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis. The overall House total is $89.9 billion, while the Senate figure is $90.3 billion. More from AP News.
Sales, prices down for single-family homes in Marion County
The number of single-family homes sold in Marion County during February slipped more than 3 percent compared to the same month last year, according to a report from the Ocala/Marion County Association of Realtors. In February, Realtors sold 489 homes in Marion County, compared to 505 in February 2018. More from the Ocala Star Banner.
Florida's jobless rate rises for first time in nearly a decade
Florida’s unemployment rate crept up slightly in February, the first increase in almost a decade, according to state figures released Friday. The Sunshine State’s unemployment rate was still a historically low 3.5 percent, but up slightly from 3.4 percent in January. Florida also continued to outperform the nation, which had a jobless rate of 3.8 percent in February. More from the Tampa Bay Times.
Florida Trend Exclusive
Knight Foundation increases investment in Miami's arts groups
The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation has upped its stake in Miami-Dade’s arts community, announcing a $37-million investment. The funding includes both institutions and artists and brings Knight’s total arts-related grants in Miami-Dade to $165 million since 2005. “We take calculated risks,” says Victoria Rogers, Knight’s vice president for arts. “In a decade, Miami built new concert halls, an opera house, an art museum, a science museum and dozens of art galleries. Right now, this critical mass is occurring here in Miami, and we wanted to continue the investment to really capitalize on an opportunity.” More from Florida Trend.
Brightline/Virgin Trains launches $1.5B bond to finance Miami-to-Orlando route
Virgin Trains USA, also known as Brightline, launched a $1.5 billion bond offering March 20 to finance the expansion of its passenger rail system from South Florida to Orlando. The company said the Miami-to-Orlando service will carry an estimated 6.6 million passengers per year once operations are stabilized in 2023. More from the South Florida Business Journal.
Ryder CMO Named Among 2019’s Most ‘Influential Business Women’
Ryder System, Inc. announced that Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Karen Jones was recognized by the South Florida Business Journal at its 2019 Influential Business Women Awards luncheon at the Pier Sixty-Six Hotel & Marina in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on March 15. “I’ve always believed in doing things that matter, not only in business, but also in my community,” said Jones.
» More from AP News.
Matthew Caldwell: President & CEO, Florida Panthers Hockey, Sunrise
Before joining the Panthers in 2013, Caldwell worked at Goldman Sachs and was an officer in the Army. “I believe that businesses, especially sports teams, should do more to prioritize civic leadership and act as stewards for their community,” he says. “It’s not only the right thing to do, but it’s actually good for business and the bottom line.”
» Read more from Florida Trend.
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