Tallahassee

Politics
6:30 am
Wed October 30, 2013

Enterprise Florida Meets In Coral Gables Amid Accusations Of Corruption

The EFI board will vote this week on a compensation package for president and CEO Gray Swoope. It includes severance worth $137,500 - six months salary - if he's fired without cause.
Credit chooseosceola/flickr

Florida’s public-private economic development agency is holding a two-day meeting in Coral Gables this week.

Enterprise Florida (EFI) is a partnership between business and government to lure companies and jobs to the state. It’s funded by Florida taxpayers as well as private-sector businesses.

The meeting will include updates from Gov. Rick Scott, EFI President & CEO Gray Swoope, Florida Department of Transportation Secretary Ananth Prasad and “jobs success stories.”

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Health Care
7:47 am
Thu October 24, 2013

Why It's Important To Know Who's Giving You Obamacare Advice In Florida

Katrina Copeland talks about the Affordable Care Act during a forum at St. Mary's Primitive Baptist Church in Tallahassee as Pastor H.B. Holmes of Lakeland looks on. The two are part of the Obamacare Enrollment Team, a subsidiary of a Stuart-based insurance agency.
Credit Tia Mitchell/Herald-Times Tallahassee Bureau

Forums are being offered around the country about the Affordable Care Act.

A group calling itself the Obamacare Enrollment Team is providing information and answering questions.

But the people on the team do not work for the federal government, and they’re pushing products sold by a South Florida insurance company.

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Technology
7:00 am
Thu October 17, 2013

How A Mobile App May Someday Help Diagnose Alzheimer's Disease

Doctoral candidate Leon Brown analyzes a graph measuring the user’s gait.
Credit Leon Brown/FSU

Wendy Nader remembers when her mom started showing obvious signs of Alzheimer’s disease.

“I would talk to her on the phone and she would repeat what she had just told me two or three times in one conversation,” Nader said. “When she started doing that, it was a huge red flag. It wasn’t too long after that, that she started getting lost.”

Nader’s mom, in her early 70’s at the time, would drive to a Miami mall or bank where she was a regular – only to forget where she was.

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Politics
8:20 am
Fri October 4, 2013

Authors Of Florida Gambling Study To Appear At Senate Hearing Monday

Florida lawmakers are considering whether to allow destination resort casinos and other changes to state gambling law.
Credit Grant Cochrane/freedigitalphotos.net

A study measuring the potential economic impact of gambling casinos in Florida has been delayed a month. It was due October 1.

In a letter to legislative leaders, Spectrum Gaming Group requested a new deadline of November 1 to complete the study.

Their request came after state economists questioned the economic models used in the report.

RELATED: Florida Lawmakers Delay Highly Anticipated Gambling Study

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Economy
8:00 am
Wed October 2, 2013

How Incentives For Film, TV Production In Florida Are Drying Up

The final episode of Burn Notice being shot behind the former Miami Herald Building.
Miami-Dade Office of Film & Entertainment

Now that “Burn Notice” has wrapped up seven successful seasons, will a new show step in to send the world a postcard of Miami every week?

The USA Network production ended its run recently while ratings were still strong. Thanks to a worldwide audience, it’s likely to live for years in syndication.

But the end of the show, as well as A&E’s The Glades and Starz’ Magic City this summer, leaves a void in Miami’s economy. A lot of folks made money off these productions selling props, renting cars, catering food, cleaning costumes and working on-camera.

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Law
7:00 am
Mon September 16, 2013

How Florida Could Save The U.S. Equal Rights Amendment

Suffragist Alice Paul wrote the Equal Rights Amendment. It was introduced in every session of Congress from 1923 until 1972, when it finally passed.
Credit Network 355/flickr

The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) may be making a comeback.

A proposed resolution filed in Tallahassee asks lawmakers to ratify a proposed U.S. constitutional amendment stating that civil rights may not be denied based on one's sex.

For now, the move is largely symbolic.

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Politics
12:00 pm
Mon September 9, 2013

Gov. Scott Tries New Strategy To Boost Business, Jobs

Gov. Rick Scott cuts the ribbon on the new Sand Blaster roller coaster on the Daytona Beach boardwalk. Scott has been traveling the state calling attention to his efforts to boost the economy.
Credit Florida Governor's Office

Gov. Rick Scott is pulling out all the stops to lure companies to Florida.

He convinced lawmakers to cut the sales tax on manufacturing equipment and do away with regulations that could hinder economic growth.

RELATED: The Sunshine Economy: Jobs

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Politics
8:00 am
Mon September 2, 2013

Florida To Replace 'Mental Retardation' With 'Intellectual Disability' Throughout State Law

Derrick Sneed asked the Florida Legislature to end use of the R word - “retardation” - in state law.
Credit Gina Jordan/WLRN

Thirty-seven-year-old Derrick Sneed testified before Florida lawmakers last spring for a new law that removes all references to “mental retardation” in state law. 

“The more I learn about the R-word (the more I want) to get rid of this R-word and stop this R-word right now. It’s very important to me,” Sneed said. “People say retarded – and I said respect someone.”

The term “mental retardation” is being removed from more than 400 Florida statutes and being replaced with “intellectual disability.”

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Crime
9:00 am
Thu August 15, 2013

Florida Ranks Third In Human Trafficking But Can't Prosecute Many Cases

The Florida Attorney General's Office says Florida is third in the nation for the number of human trafficking cases. 27 million people are enslaved worldwide, and most victims are female.
Credit Andrea Waldrop/flickr

Three children in Tampa were among 105 children rescued nationwide last month during a FBI sex trafficking sting operation.

“Operation Cross Country” focused on underage victims of prostitution and led to more than 150 arrests.

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Public Sector
7:00 am
Wed August 14, 2013

State Contractors Fret About New Public Records Requirements

Florida lawmakers passed a measure this year requiring a higher level of public record keeping by private companies that contract with the state.
Credit 401(K) 2013/flickr

Some state contractors are worried about new public records requirements that cost them money and put them at risk of legal trouble.

Vendors acting on behalf of state agencies are now subject to a higher level of record keeping because of a bill passed by the Florida Legislature this year.

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Politics
8:28 am
Wed August 7, 2013

Florida's Vetoed Alimony Bill Likely To Return In 2014

Rep. Ritch Workman (left) chats with Rep. Doug Broxson in the House chamber.
Credit Mark Foley/myfloridahouse.gov

A bill that would have ended permanent alimony in Florida was vetoed by Gov. Rick Scott a few months ago. But plans are already being made to bring it back next year.

Members of the group Family Law Reform will hold a summit and fundraiser in Orlando on August 17, focused on reforming what they say are outdated permanent alimony laws.

Rep. Ritch Workman, R-Melbourne, told a House Committee last March it's not about getting rid of alimony – it's about being fair.

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Labor
9:02 am
Tue July 30, 2013

Who Should Define A Living Wage In Florida: Your State Or County?

Rich Templin of the Florida AFL-CIO is fighting a bill in the state legislature that would ban county living-wage ordinances. The bill has already passed the House and a less sweeping version is moving through Senate committees.
Credit Jordan Michael/WLRN

The Florida House has passed a bill that would preempt local living wage ordinances and a similar version is making its way through the Senate.

The House measure would not allow local governments to mandate that their vendors pay employees more than a set minimum or provide them with special work-related benefits.

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Business
11:11 am
Mon July 29, 2013

Lawmakers Hope Sales Tax Cut Brings Manufacturing Boom

Florida ranks among the bottom states for the number of manufacturing jobs. Lawmakers eliminated the sales tax on manufacturing equipment, hoping to lure more companies.
Credit freedigitaldownloads.net/dan

Manufacturing isn't a booming industry in Florida, but many hope that will change thanks to a vote by the state Legislature.

Starting next spring, manufacturing companies will be able to buy equipment in Florida without paying sales tax on it.

That means less revenue initially for the state, but supporters say the move will help boost the industry and create jobs in Florida.

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Politics
4:26 pm
Fri June 21, 2013

Clock Ticking For Governor To Veto Mental Health Gun Bill

Floridians who voluntarily get mental health treatment could find themselves on a gun ban list.
Credit Gualberto107/freedigitalphotos.net

The only gun control measure passed by the Florida Legislature this year is finally on Gov. Rick Scott's desk.

It puts people who are committed for mental health treatment on a list that prevents them from being able to buy a gun.

The National Rifle Association usually fights any proposal that could erode a person's right to bear arms – also known as the U.S. 2nd Amendment -- but the association strongly supports this bill.

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Labor
8:00 am
Tue June 18, 2013

Critics Say Sick Leave Law Good For Corporations, Bad For Families

Under a law that takes effect next month, local governments no longer have the option of passing a paid sick leave ordinance.
Credit marin/freedigitalphotos.net

Gov. Rick Scott has signed a bill that prohibits local governments from crafting their own sick leave policies for private employers.

Supporters say the new law will prevent an array of ordinances that could be confusing for businesses.

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