2:41 pm
Fri January 23, 2015

FL Unemployment Rate Lowers

Credit Associated Press


Florida's unemployment rate continues to drop.

This morning, the state's December 2014 unemployment numbers were released. Last month, the unemployment rate was 5.6 percent—down 0.2 percent from November—numbers that mirror the national trend.

 Florida added an estimated 12,700 jobs in December. The unemployment rate is the lowest it has been since the spring of 2008 when it was 5.4 percent. The new figures also show that there are roughly 543,000 people out of work in the Sunshine State. 

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8:55 pm
Fri January 16, 2015

After Decades Without Complaint Beer Retailers And Distributors Challenge Tourism Exception

Proof Brewing Company's vats at the Railroad Square brewery.

Originally published on Fri January 16, 2015 7:39 pm

It seems there’s new trouble brewing for Florida’s small but growing craft beer industry.  The Florida Retail Federation is challenging a long-standing exception to the state’s licensing rules that allows a brewery to sell beer in on-site ‘tasting’ or ‘tap’ rooms.  But this isn’t the only attack the state’s rules have drawn.

Beer is bipartisan.  Really, it’s hard to imagine something more people can agree on.  But, unfortunately in Florida, beer is a political issue.

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1:16 am
Thu January 15, 2015

Swoope To Depart Enterprise Florida Next Month

Enterprise Florida's Gray Swoope

Originally published on Wed January 14, 2015 6:56 pm

Florida’s top jobs recruiter is stepping down from his post.

At the end of February, Gray Swoope will resign.  He’s the state’s Secretary of Commerce as well as the head of Enterprise Florida, the state’s lead economic development agency.

Swoope was one of the few top officials who served during Governor Rick Scott’s entire first term.

In a statement following Swoope’s announced departure, Scott hailed Swoope for creating “a jobs legacy” and for making “major economic deals” happen for the state.

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4:32 pm
Wed January 14, 2015

Ballot Proposal Seeks More Solar in Sunshine State

Businesses and property owners would be able to sell a limited amount of solar energy under a ballot initiative rolled out Wednesday by a coalition that brings together free-market conservatives, retailers and alternative-energy supporters.

The proposed constitutional amendment is expected to face opposition from large power companies, which offered little comment Wednesday.

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1:57 pm
Wed January 14, 2015

Florida Legislative Support Grows For Film And TV Tax Incentives

Originally published on Wed January 14, 2015 10:05 am

After last year’s legislative session, Florida failed to secure the tax incentive money it needed to lure more movie and television projects to the Sunshine State.

But things could change in 2015. And Palm Beach County lawmakers want to play a starring role in replenishing those funds.

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7:05 pm
Tue January 13, 2015

Florida's Craft Beer Industry Wary A New Challenge May Be Brewing

Proof Brewing Company's vats at the Railroad Square brewery.

Originally published on Tue January 13, 2015 4:07 pm

Beer distribution interests in Florida have launched a legal attack against a well-established exception to the state’s three-tier system.  The ‘Tourism Exception’ allows brewers licensed for manufacturing beer to sell it directly to the public. 

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9:46 am
Wed December 31, 2014

Publix Will Extend Coverage To Employees' Same-Sex Spouses

Publix at 1181 S. University Dr. in Plantation.

Originally published on Wed December 31, 2014 7:00 am

Publix will extend insurance plans to same-sex spouses of employees who are legally married.

The company announced that it will open enrollment on Jan. 1 for any employee who can who show proof of lawful marriage in a state where same-sex unions are allowed.

The couples will get the same health care coverage as any heterosexual couple.

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3:26 pm
Fri December 19, 2014

Gov. Scott: Florida Has Reached His 2010 Jobs Goal

Gov. Scott
Credit Mark Wilson / Getty News Images

Gov. Rick Scott declared Friday that Florida has reached his 2010 campaign goal of creating 700,000 jobs within seven years, as the state's unemployment rate was posted at its lowest rate since May 2008.

Four years ago, Scott's jobs pledge was accompanied by the line "on top of what normal growth would be," a phrase abandoned by the governor shortly after he took office but not forgotten by Democrats.

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5:00 am
Thu December 18, 2014

With Vinik Plan Unveiled, Buckhorn Waits on Rays

Credit Photo courtesy of the Tampa Bay Rays.

It's a "big week," according to Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn - an understatement for a man who may get all of his gifts well before the holidays this year.

Now that Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik has unveiled his billion dollar "vision plan" for redeveloping the southern portion of downtown Tampa, Buckhorn is turning his focus to the possibility that the Tampa Bay Rays could be part of his city's new look.

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3:02 am
Thu December 18, 2014

Vinik's Billion Dollar Plan By the Numbers (video)

A "Tampa Live" retail corridor will connect the Amalie Arena to a new hotel and the Tampa Convention Center
Strategic Property Partners LLC

Tampa Bay Lighting owner Jeff Vinik admitted that he formed his group "Strategic Property Partners" so he could slowly and quietly buy up property surrounding the Amelie Arena in downtown Tampa.

That silence was shattered Wednesday when he finally unveiled his "vision plan" for the Channelside District.

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12:22 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

Vinik Unveils Billion-Dollar Vision for Downtown Tampa

Jeff Vinik on Wednesday unveiled plans to build nearly 3 million square feet of commercial space on the 25 acres between Amalie Arena and the Selmon Expressway that he has assembled over the last several years. The development plans, which total $1.07 billion, are backed by Microsoft Founder Bill Gates' Cascade Investment LLC. Vinik's team estimates the project will generate $35 million in annual tax revenue for Hillsborough County.
Tampa Bay Lightning Owner Jeff Vinik's billion-dollar development plan is one that could transform a desolate corner of downtown Tampa into a thriving urban neighborhood anchored by a major corporate campus. Vinik on Wednesday unveiled plans to build nearly 3 million square feet of commercial space on the 25 acres between Amalie Arena and the Selmon Expressway that he has assembled over the last several years.
8:23 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

Citizens Insurance Introduces Plans To Clarify Depopulation

Citizens Insurance VP of Consumer and Agent Services speaking December 9 at the insurance company's quarterly meeting.

Originally published on Wed December 10, 2014 5:20 pm

Citizens insurance is touting its efforts to move policies into the private market—a process known as depopulation.  Florida’s insurer of last resort is introducing new plans to make the move more transparent.

The state-backed insurer concluded its final meeting of the year Wednesday, highlighting its ability to shift 300,000 policies to the private sector since January.  Citizens official Steve Bitar says the company is making changes to improve the depopulation process for consumers.

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2:15 pm
Tue December 9, 2014

Florida Sees Increase in "Ultra-Wealthy" Millionaries

Originally published on Tue December 9, 2014 12:06 pm

Florida saw an increase in the number of “ultra-wealthy” millionaires in 2014.

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8:13 am
Tue December 9, 2014

St. Pete Allows Rays to Look Elsewhere (in Bay Area) for New Home

Ball Park

By the end of the week, the Tampa Bay Rays may be able to look for a new stadium site in Hillsborough County, thanks to a tentative deal reached with the city of St. Petersburg.

Mayor Rick Kriseman will talk about the agreement (which you can read through the slideshow above) he reached with the team at a 10 a.m. news conference today at Tropicana Field. The issue will likely be taken up by the St. Pete City Council at its meeting Thursday.

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11:14 pm
Mon December 1, 2014

On His Birthday, Gov. Scott Kicks Off 'Jobs Jamboree' Tour

Originally published on Mon December 1, 2014 6:03 pm

Governor Rick Scott kicked off his “Jobs Jamboree” tour in Miami Monday, in lieu of traditional inaugural events.

Instead of an inaugural ball or parade, Scott decided to hold a series of informal barbecues and prayer breakfasts across the state, and he launched the tour Monday—also his 62nd birthday. In a video posted by the Florida GOP, Scott talks, of course, about jobs—a premiere point in his campaign.

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