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Fasano: Why Do Wal-Mart, Coca-Cola Land Incentives to Expand in Florida?

February 11, 2013 - 6:00pm

House members on Tuesday questioned a need for more transparency to avoid the appearance of conflicts of interest and companies using inside connections as Enterprise Florida seeks to grow.

On Tuesday, members of the House Transportation and Economic Development Appropriations Subcommittee offered their support for performance-based incentives and the desire to compete for business against other states, as the Orlando-based Enterprise Florida is seeking to increase economic incentives from $111 million to $278 million.

Will Weatherford: Florida Needs Direct Flights to China

February 10, 2013 - 6:00pm

House Speaker Will Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel, is confident Florida will be a pocket of prosperity in the coming decades in a global world of winners and losers that includes other states.

However, he said the state needs to be creative in building its transportation system to better position itself for an increase in global trade.

And, Weatherford suggested, one of those innovative means should be to consider establishing direct airline flights from Florida to China and India, which he acknowledged will be expensive.

Citizens Insurance Hopes Policy Shedding Deal is Trend Setter

February 10, 2013 - 6:00pm

Citizens Property Insurance Corp. hopes to shed 15 percent of its coastal accounts after board members made a precedent-setting move Monday morning to shift about 31,000 into private hands.

Board members agreed to have Florida-based Weston Insurance Co. take over the approximately 31,000 personal residential, commercial residential and commercial nonresidential wind-only policies that should reduce Citizens coastal exposure by $30 billion.

The move also reduces the potential for emergency assessments, which must be paid by all Floridians, by 11.9 percent.

Fiscal Answers Needed as Florida Transit Leaders Push Global Hub Visions Forward

February 10, 2013 - 6:00pm

The message to business leaders on Monday, gathered at a remote rural resort near the Georgia state line, was that Floridas reliance upon gas tax revenues to pay for transportation projects is in decline while the call to build the air, road, rail, and sea cargo infrastructure grows.

So for a state where lawmakers are more than reluctant to raises taxes, business and political leaders say creative ideas are needed to generate more revenue for the state to pay for desired upgrades to the states ports, rail lines, airports and roads.

FDOT Final Budget Proposal to be a Nonstimulus Record $8.5 Billion

Senate Considers Cutting Nearly 50,000 Property Owners from France, New York out of Citizens

Tom Rooney Lands Bipartisan Support for National Homeowner Catastrophe Act

February 7, 2013 - 6:00pm

With areas still rebuilding from Hurricane Sandy, and before the blizzard named Nemo arose, U.S. Rep. Tom Rooney, R-Punta Gorda, picked up some bipartisan support from the Northeast for his continued efforts to pool resources and spread the risk of paying for future disasters.

U.S. Reps. Michael Grimm, R-N.Y., and Bill Pascrell Jr., D-N.J., along with Ted Deutch, D-Boca Raton, have joined Rooney in sponsoring the Homeowner Catastrophe Protection Act of 2013, a bill which provides tax incentives for homeowners and insurance companies to brace against future disasters.

Shift of State Workers’ Pension Plan Backed in House

February 6, 2013 - 6:00pm

A proposal to start shifting state and county workers from the Florida Retirement System into a 401(k)-style retirement plan got the backing of House Government Operations Subcommittee on Thursday.

Subcommittee Chairman Jason Brodeur, R-Sanford, called the proposal the first steps to enact meaningful reforms to Floridas public employee pension system.

Florida Water Supply Focus of House Review into Governor’s Environmental Budget

Cabinet Follows Tradition, Rides the Giant Slide

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