August 25, 2019

Tuesday's Daily Pulse

What you need to know about Florida today

| 5/21/2019

Florida presses ahead with workforce education changes

Gov. Ron DeSantis made no secret of his desire to have Florida become first in the nation when it comes to workforce preparation. Even before he receives a bill (HB 7071) aiming the state in that direction, DeSantis is likely to see his goal move closer to reality through some executive moves in the Department of Education. When it meets Wednesday, the State Board of Education is set to consider a plan to revise and transform its approach to career education programs within the federal Perkins Act. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

Florida Trend Exclusive
Airlines fight 'Florida box' formula for calculating taxes

Airlines believe Florida’s corporate income tax law has a major defect. In general, the state calculates corporate income tax based on how much of their income companies earn within Florida. To figure out how much companies that provide land or sea transportation owe, the state uses a formula based on the percentage of total “revenue miles” traveled in Florida. [Source: Florida Trend]

Cannabis is becoming a huge jobs creator

The industry added more than 64,000 jobs last year — a 44% increase — and is expected to create another 20,000 jobs this year in California and Florida alone. In 2018, as its medical marijuana industry ramped up, Florida added the most jobs of any state — more than 9,000, equaling an eye-popping 703% increase. [Source: Forbes]

Florida Supreme Court revisits death penalty issue

More than 100 inmates condemned to death could face a major upheaval, as a revamped Florida Supreme Court ponders whether to undo a 2016 ruling that allowed nearly half of the state’s Death Row prisoners to have their death sentences revisited. With a conservative bloc of justices led by Chief Justice Charles Canady now in the majority, the court has begun the process of reconsidering whether changes to Florida’s death penalty-sentencing system should continue being applied retroactively to cases dating to 2002. [Source: Gainesville Sun]

Hitting the road for the holiday weekend? You may see cheaper gas in Florida

Gas prices are unseasonably low just days before Memorial Day weekend. According to AAA, the Auto Club Group, Florida gas prices averaged $2.64 a gallon Monday. Gas prices in Florida averaged $2.91 a gallon in 2018, $2.31 a gallon in 2017 and $2.25 a gallon in 2016. More from the Tampa Bay Times and the Miami Herald


› Tougher texting while driving law in Florida approved by Gov. DeSantis
Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill Friday that toughens Florida’s prohibition on texting while driving, hoping to crack down on one of the most dangerous forms of distracted driving. Starting July 1, police will be allowed to stop and ticket drivers for texting while they’re behind the wheel of a moving car, with limited exceptions. Drivers will still be able to use their phone while their car is stopped.

› By the numbers: Broward’s transportation tax plan revs up
Broward residents and shoppers have been paying higher sales taxes since Jan. 1 to support county transportation projects — and the pennies are starting to add up. Voters approved the 17 percent sales tax jump in November, raising the sales tax from 6 percent to 7 percent on most purchases.

› Pinellas celebrates record-setting bed tax collections
For the first time in history, Pinellas County’s bed tax collections have topped $9 million in a single month. In March, the tax collector’s office took in $9.57 million in bed tax, officially known as tourist development tax money — a 7.3% increase over the same month last year.

› Southwest Florida entrepreneur cleaning up with skin care stores
A decade ago Deanna Wallin was a single mother of two teenagers, aging out of the home health care sales business and suffering from eczema and psoriasis along with her daughter, Kelsey. Since then, Wallin has turned research into their chronic skin condition and a 300-square-foot boutique into a 13-store, $10 million enterprise specializing in hair, bath and body products for sensitive skin.

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Costco opens to much fanfare in Bradenton
Costco opens to much fanfare in Bradenton

They arrived early. Some for the hard-to-get Van Winkle bourbon. Or maybe the $5,299.99 Chanel handbags. Others came for the deals on necessities such as bottled water and toilet paper. Whatever their mission, a universal priority seemed to be to try the generous food samples that beckoned at the new Bradenton Costco.

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