A move to put state pension money into Florida tech companies has taken off, with the investment increasing six-fold in size in three years and growing to $500 million, but it's still hard to tell if it had its intended effect ofboosting the state's economy, a state review has found.
A group of higher education and business leaders said in a report issued Monday that the state's colleges and universities should better coordinate on what they do, set goals for increased high-tech degree production, and that lawmakers should spend money on schools based on performance.
Gov. Rick Scott announced Thursday that Colt Manufacturing, the maker of the famous Colt .45, the M-16 and other guns, will open a new regional headquarters and manufacturing facility in Osceola County.
The facility over the next three years will create 63 jobs paying an average of more than $45,000. Scott and M. William Keys, Colt Manufacturing president, made the announcement near Kissimmee.
On a day millions of holiday shoppers were being encouraged to hit up online retailers, Gov. Rick Scott acknowledged it isn't fair that most people don't pay Florida taxes on those purchases -- but said he doesn't want to do anything that would change that because he doesn't want to "take more money out of the private sector."
Scott made his remarks during an interview with the editorial board at the Daytona Beach News-Journal on Monday, the day billed by online retailers as "Cyber Monday," a promotion aimed at getting people to make holiday gift purchases online.
The state Department of Transportation plan to try to replace dwindling gas tax revenue with additional tolling ability, particularly for express lanes, will be part of the department's agency bill when it emerges, a committee heard Tuesday.
A proposed federal rule that would require the automatic reporting to the Internal Revenue Service of interest earned on accounts held in U.S. banks by foreigners would create "serious safety and soundness concerns to banks" in Florida, a former state commissioner of financial regulation told Congress on Thursday.
The Commission on Ethics on Wednesday dismissed a complaint filed by a union that alleged conflict of interest by Gov. Rick Scott in the move to privatize prisons.
The International Brotherhood of Teamsters, which is in the middle of an effort to represent the state's corrections officers, had alleged in the complaint that Scott was conflicted because he oversees both the prisons agency and is a trustee of the State Board of Administration, which invests state money -- including holdings in companies that would benefit from prison privatization.
Sen. Don Gaetz, a former school superintendent and hospice executive from the Panhandle, was formally recognized as the Senate president-in-waiting on Monday.
Gaetz, a Republican from Niceville, was honored in a Senate floor ceremony in front of family and friends, including his son, state Rep. Matt Gaetz. R-Fort Walton Beach.
Gaetz will succeed Senate President Mike Haridopolos, R-Merritt Island, for the 2013 session and preside for two terms, assuming Republicans maintain a majority in the chamber. They currently hold a 28-12 majority in the Senate.