The Sunshine Economy

9 a.m. and 7 p.m. Mondays

The Sunshine Economy, takes a fresh look at the key industries transforming South Florida into a regional powerhouse. From investments in health care, storm preparedness, international trade, real estate and technology based start-ups, tune in to learn more about one of the worlds most vibrant and diverse economies.

Tom Hudson
Credit WLRN

The lingering nature of water through the Everglades has been matched by the slow progress toward the massive goal of reviving the region with more water and cleaner water.

It’s been 17 years since President Bill Clinton signed into law the bill that included the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan. That began the modern day effort to restore the Everglades after a century of draining and redirecting the water to create today’s South Florida.

More than half way through the expected time frame for the work only a half dozen projects are underway.

Tom Hudson

A Miami-based rapper. A second-tier English soccer club and a sports car racing team.

 

What ties them together is Visit Florida, the state group that markets Florida to tourists across the country and across the globe. What also ties these three together is they provided the ammunition for opponents of using taxpayer money to promote tourism.

 

Tom Hudson

Next year is almost here for American insurance companies wanting to sell plans on Healthcare.gov in 2018, assuming it survives the Obamacare repeal-and-replace effort.

President Donald Trump and Republican governors met Monday and the top topic was the Affordable Care Act. The president and congressional Republican leaders have pledged to repeal and replace the federal health insurance law known as Obamacare.

Amanda Rabines / WLRN News

Over the past year, Florida has been second only to California in the number of new jobs created with just over a quarter of a million new jobs. But California’s labor market is twice the size of Florida’s. The rate of growth of Florida's job market also ranked second in the nation at 3.1 percent. (Oregon was No. 1.)

 

Tom Hudson / WLRN

What started in part by a text in response to racial tension and police shootings of black men has turned into millions of dollars directed at economic development and investment in the black community. The bank black effort is an economic call to action as much as it is a social movement.

One local bank, OneUnited, has received millions of new dollars in deposits thanks to the bank black movement. The bank is based in Boston with branches in Los Angeles and in Miami's Liberty City neighborhood.

Tom Hudson

With record tourism comes big business, but you won’t find a front desk at one of the largest lodging groups in the state - Airbnb.

The home-sharing network has almost 33,000 hosts in Florida, generating millions of dollars for it and the hosts, basically property owners who rent a room, home or a condo for a few days to a visitor. The company calls it a short-term rental and insists it is not in competition with the hotel business.

The traditional hotel business is growing in South Florida. Here's what 2016 looked like for hotels in Miami-Dade and Broward counties:

Tom Hudson

South Florida home prices continued climbing in 2016 even as the pace of sales slowed, especially for condominiums.

Tom Hudson

As the 2017 state legislative session approaches, lawmakers and Gov. Rick Scott already have been talking about their shopping lists of new ideas about how to spend taxpayers' money. There’s a laundry list of big issues legislators will need to address during their session: the death penalty, concealed carry, gambling. But there is no larger issue than the budget. It’s an $82 billion-plus document that dictates how the state spends money.

AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee

 

"We need to keep as many weapons out of the airport as possible."

Emilio González knows about weapons at airports. He's a military veteran. He's a concealed weapons permit holder. And he's the boss at Florida's busiest passenger airport -- Miami International Airport.

 

data: Florida Legislature Office of Economic and Demographic Research (Dec. 15, 2016)

The Florida economy may be humming along, but there is a budget problem looming for state lawmakers. In about a year and a half, the state is forecast to see a $1 billion difference between what it collects in taxes and fees and what it spends.That is a $1.3 billion budget hole. Legislators will start tackling the anticipated budget shortfall in their next session before the red ink starts.

Associated Press

What started with a phone call two years ago may end in a tweet early next year.

The changes in the relationship between the U-S and Cuba have been dramatic and quiet, slow and significant since Dec. 17, 2014 when President Barack Obama began a new strategy of engagement with Cuba.

Tom Hudson

If you walk through the right breezeway on Worth Avenue in Palm Beach and into a small courtyard, you’ll see on your right a spiral concrete staircase. It’s painted pink. You can’t miss it. It leads to a single doorway. Inside is about 2,000 square feet split into four rooms. This is home the Gavlak Gallery.

Sarah Gavlak began her gallery in 2005 and was chosen to show works at the next Art Basel (2006) in a shipping container on the beach. She has been back every year since, including the fair that wrapped up this past Sunday.

Tom Hudson

Fidel Castro may be dead, but his shadow lurks over the Cuban economy even as it absorbs -- oftentimes resists -- the biggest changes in its relationship with the U.S. in more than a half century. At the same time, a new American president-elect has promised to extract more freedoms and restitution from Cuba if the new economic engagement is to continue. The Sunshine Economy looks at this double challenge in the economic dealings between South Florida and the island.

 

 

Tom Hudson

During the Great Recession, the cruise industry canceled or postponed building and introducing new cruise liners trying to conserve cash as passenger traffic was hurt by the sour economy. Now, those ships are entering the oceans and many of them have South Florida ports of call.

 

While America has experienced a peaceful transition between presidents 44 times, there has never been a president-elect quite like Donald Trump.

 

For his supporters, including the 4.6 million Floridians who voted for him, Trump represents a change. Not just a change in which political party controls the White House, but a repudiation of decades of the political class on both sides of the aisle.

 

Pages