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Florida Chamber Launches Its 2019 Jobs and Competitiveness Agenda

February 21, 2019 - 9:30am
Mark Wilson, Chamber president and CEO

Business leaders from throughout Florida were in the Capital City Wednesday as part of the Florida Chamber’s 2019 Legislative Fly-In and have been sharing the 2019 Jobs Agenda, which the Chamber believes will help Florida create at least 150,000 new jobs this year.

Good jobs and economic growth are essential to Securing Florida’s Future, the Chamber says on its Agenda. The Chamber is calling on lawmakers to make Florida more competitive by:

  • Lowering the Cost of Living,

  • Reducing the Cost of Doing Business, and

HB 387, Risk-Takers' Bill, Makes It Past House B&I Committee

February 21, 2019 - 9:30am

Florida is one of the nation's top three consumers of surplus lines insurance -- coverage that must be purchased from a company not licensed by the state because it is not available through licensed companies. 

Fifth Consecutive Record-Breaking Year for VISIT FLORIDA: 126 Million Visitors in 2018

February 21, 2019 - 9:30am

Despite a major hurricane, a lingering bout of red along the Gulf Coast, and a national press that focused on the worst of Florida's problems, 2018 was a record year for tourism in the Sunshine State.

VISIT FLORIDA announced Wednesday that Florida welcomed an all-time record number of visitors last year with 126.1 million out-of-staters in 2018. This announcement marks the eighth consecutive record year for visitation to Florida, exceeding the previous record of 118.8 million visitors in 2017 by an astounding 6.2 percent.

Tyler Sirois, Tom Wright Form Space Caucus in Florida Legislature

February 20, 2019 - 12:30pm
Tyler Sirois and Tom Wright

The Space Caucus is ready for takeoff in the Florida Legislature. 

State Rep. Tyler Sirois, R-Cocoa, announced the creation of the caucus during this week’s “Space Days” at the Capitol. Sirois and state Sen. Tom Wright, R-New Smyrna Beach, the chairman of the state Senate Military and Veterans Affairs and Space, will lead the new caucus. 

“The Space Caucus will be instrumental in educating members of the Florida Legislature about the importance of space and Florida remaining the launch pad to America’s future in space exploration,” said Sirois on Wednesday.

JMI Study: Mandatory Minimum Sentencing Not Working in Florida

February 19, 2019 - 10:30am

With Florida facing an opioid crisis, one of the leading think tanks in Florida is calling for reforming mandatory minimum sentences. 

The James Madison Institute (JMI), a group based out of Tallahassee that supports free market solutions, unveiled a study on Tuesday which finds that mandatory minimum sentences are not working in the Sunshine State.

Mason-Dixon Poll Shows Overwhelming Support for Vacation Rentals in Florida

February 18, 2019 - 9:00am

The Florida Vacation Rental Management Association (FLVRMA) released a Mason-Dixon poll Friday showing that Floridians overwhelmingly support short-term vacation rentals. Almost 90 percent of registered Florida voters believe Floridians should have the right to rent out a secondary home as a vacation rental. 

Debbie Mayfield Wants Four Year Colleges in Florida to Have More Access for Intercollegiate Sports

February 14, 2019 - 11:30am

More intercollegiate  sports could be coming to the Sunshine State if state Sen. Debbie Mayfield, R-Melbourne, gets her way. 

Last week, Mayfield introduced the “Baccalaureate Degree Access” bill which will “allow four  year state colleges to participate in four year sports programs” and she showcased the legislation this week. 

“This bill will allow more student athletes an opportunity to attend college and participate in sports,” she said on Wednesday. 

Her office offered the rationale behind the proposal. 

Top Three Florida Leaders Ask Trump to Include $200 Million in Federal Budget for Everglades Restoration Construction

February 12, 2019 - 9:00am

As part of his commitment to advocate on behalf of Florida’s environment and water quality, Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday joined Sens. Marco Rubio and Rick Scott in requesting President Donald Trump to include a sustained annual commitment of $200 million in the federal budget for construction funding for South Florida Ecosystem Restoration (SFER). 

A PDF copy of the signed letter is available HERE. The full text of the letter is provided below.

HUD Sending $85 Million to Florida to Fight Homelessness

February 12, 2019 - 7:30am
Ben Carson

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced it was sending more funds to the Sunshine State to help battle homelessness. 

U.S. HUD Sec. Ben Carson announced at the end of last week his department was sending an additional $6.7 million to back 47 new programs across the state in addition to the almost $79 million going to 250 other programs in Florida that he announced last month. 

“Combined, this funding represents a record investment to support state and local efforts across the nation to reduce and end homelessness,” HUD noted on Friday. 

DeSantis Announces Significant Boost to Best and Brightest Teachers Program

February 8, 2019 - 9:00am

Gov. Ron DeSantis chose a Tampa classroom to announce Thursday "bold steps" to reform the Best and Brightest Teachers program with a renewed investment to recruit and retain the best, most dedicated educators for Florida schools. This includes more than $422 million for compensation increases to the most effective teachers and principals in our public schools throughout Florida.

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