May 18, 2021

Celebrating 50 Years

Florida's Turning Points Since 1958

Pivotal events over the past 50 years that have helped to shape Florida today.

Scripps Research Institute
Scripps Research Institute
[Photo: Eileen Escarda]
2003: In July, Gov. Jeb Bush flies to California to meet with officials of the Scripps Research Institute. The same year, the Legislature appropriates more than $300 million to help Scripps set up a Florida branch, creating an instant profile for the state in the biotechnology industry. In 2006, the Burnham Institute for Medical Research and the Torrey Pines Institute for Molecular Studies announced they would set up facilities in Florida.

2004: Hurricanes in 2004-05 further exacerbate the condition of the state’s private insurance market. The Legislature lifts restrictions on Citizens Property Insurance, now the state’s biggest home insurer, with more than $440 billion in exposure. As the state-backed insurer, Citizens can charge all Florida property insurance policyholders to make up for deficits after catastrophes.
Blue tarps

2005: Voters in Broward County approve slot machines at pari-mutuel facilities not operated by tribes. Miami-Dade voters first reject slots but follow suit two years later.

2005: The Base Realignment and Closing process produces a net gain of 3,720 jobs for the state and keeps Florida’s bases an integral part of the state’s economy.

2006: The Legislature creates medical schools at the University of Central Florida and Florida International University. A program at FSU had been expanded to a full medical school in 2001.

2008: Gov. Charlie Crist signs a $1.7-billion deal for the state to acquire U.S. Sugar.

Bob Buker and Gov. Charlie Crist
U.S. Sugar President Bob Buker and Gov. Crist [Photo: Michael McElroy]

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