Tuesday's Afternoon Update
Gov. Rick Scott signs 2015 budget, vetoes nearly $500 million
Florida Gov. Rick Scott signed a new budget into law Tuesday, but not before vetoing $461.4 million in spending. It is believed to be a record amount for budget vetoes. Scott praised the budget, noting legislators had increased money for public schools, services for the disabled and set aside more than $400 million for tax cuts. More at the AP.
» Full list of vetoes is here (PDF document)
» Orlando: Scott's budget vetoes money for UCF's downtown campus project
» Brevard County items that didn't get funded
» Scott vetoes $20 million in First Coast spending; projects include soccer facility, child care, JU
» What Tampa Bay projects were vetoed
» Fort Myers: $14 in local projects cut
FCC moves to prevent robocalls and spam texts
Late last week, the Federal Communications Commission adopted a rule giving telephone companies wider latitude in preventing robocalls and spam text messages to consumers on both landline and wireless phones. In spite of the national “Do Not Call List,” automated calls and spam texts remain a major annoyance for consumers. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said the agency receives more complaints about robocalls than about any other issue, fielding more than 215,000 such complaints in 2014. More at the Wall Street Journal.
More than 1,100 state-employee positions cut
As part of the budget process, more than 1,100 state workforce positions have been cut. Among the agencies hardest hit are the Department of Health, which lost 813 positions, the Department of Environmental Protection, which lost 120 positions, and the Agency for Health Care Administration, which lost 81 positions. More at the Tallahassee Democrat.
Darden Restaurants spinning off real estate to pay down $1 billion In debt
Darden Restaurants will spin off a bunch of its real estate into a real estate investment trust as part of plans to pay off $1 billion in debt. The owner of Olive Garden and Longhorn Steakhouse plans to transfer some 430 of its restaurants to the REIT, most of which will then be leased back. More at Forbes.
For founders, preparation trumps passion
New research on hundreds of business founders reveals that passion has nothing to do with results a few years out. What matters is preparedness -- whether founders have fully fleshed out their ideas, gained a deep understanding of their markets, and created plans for overcoming obstacles and exploiting contingencies. More at the Harvard Business Review..
Tampa's University Mall to get major facelift, new anchors and restaurants
One of Tampa Bay's oldest -- and dreariest -- malls is getting a major facelift. University Mall near the University of South Florida will get three new anchor tenants and two new free-standing restaurants as part of a renovation that could start early next year. More at the Tampa Bay Times.
American Maglev considers Port Canaveral train project
American Maglev Technology Inc. is exploring the idea of a train linking Port Canaveral's cruise terminals with the port Cove restaurant and retail area, nearby beaches and hotels -- and possibly Orlando International Airport. Port commissioners will consider approving a non-binding letter of intent that would allow American Maglev to study the ridership potential for such a system. More at Florida Today.
» Related, from Florida Trend: Still hovering: Tony Morris pushes ‘maglev' trains