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Port Backers Offer Vision to Make Florida the Global Trading Hub

November 16, 2011 - 6:00pm

Before Gov. Rick Scott sailed into the port issue by backing the Port of Miami's effort to dredge to 50 feet, Florida business interests had been ratcheting up their focus on what they say had been a forgotten secondary piece of the states economy.

The public hook -- as highlighted in the attention given to the Port of Miami -- has become that Florida ports and accompanying commercial rail and highways must be ready when the widening of the Panama Canal is completed in 2014.

Port Canaveral Bulking Cargo and Cruise Passengers

November 16, 2011 - 6:00pm

Known primarily for its cruise ships, Port Canaveral has been concentrating its growing commercial focus on robust trade already coming from Central and South America.

There is untapped potential for containers, whether through direct call or via feeder vessel, and short-sea shipping of domestic loads, all, again, because of our role as Orlandos port, said Port Canaveral CEO J. Stanley Stan Payne.

Port Canaveral -- What is there:

AAA Sees Signs of 'Slow, but Steady Recovery' in Holiday Travel Forecast

Pari-Mutuels Want Restrictions Lifted, Taxes Lowered If Legislators OK 5-Star Casinos

Study: Lack of Sales-Tax Collections by Out-of-State, Online-Only Retailers Cost Florida $450 Million a Year

Legislative Efforts Underway to Salvage PIP Auto Coverage from Rampant Fraud

November 14, 2011 - 6:00pm

A Florida House committee will begin discussions Wednesday to answer the call for reform of personal injury protection auto insurance by Gov. Rick Scott and Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater.

Atwater said organized crime and huckster legal services have driven up personal injury premiums by $910 million through staged accidents.

Instead of junking coverage designed to reduce insurance costs by avoiding litigation over minor injuries in crashes, Scott said he believes personal injury protection insurance can be salvaged.

Casino Bill May Expand Gaming Commission Over Florida Lottery

November 14, 2011 - 6:00pm

A gaming commission proposed to oversee pari-mutuels, Internet cafes and the potential trio of 5-star casinos in South Florida may also have the state lottery under its watch.

Sen. Ellyn Bogdanoff, R-Fort Lauderdale, said Tuesday she has check with legal counsel to determine if the Florida Gaming Commission -- being designed to close loopholes and regulate existing gaming options -- can also oversee the voter approved Florida lottery.

American Conservative Union Says Florida Legislature More Conservative than Expected

November 14, 2011 - 6:00pm

As a former Republican Party of Florida chairman, Al Cardenas knew the government in Florida is conservative.

As the chairman of the American Conservative Union, he admits his reaction was Wow when he saw how conservative the Legislature had become.

It was a wow moment for the movement, Cardenas said Tuesday as the ACU released its first conservative ratings of the Florida legislature. You let these experts come up with the matrix and they came with an analysis of dozens of bills and figured out which were best to home in on and then you grade them.

Senate Working to Change 2012 Property-Tax Amendment

November 13, 2011 - 6:00pm

Senators want to change the super exemption tax breaks offered first-time home buyers, and seasonal or second home owners, in a referendum already approved to go before voters next November.

Seeking to pump life into Floridas anemic real estate market by making Floridas property tax structure more equitable, Sen. David Simmons, R-Altamonte Springs, has proposed legislators replace the language in Amendment 4 that was approved for the ballot in the spring.

Nearly One-Third of Florida's Biggest City Pensions are Failing

November 12, 2011 - 6:00pm

While Floridas pension plan funding is considered one of the healthiest in the nation, nearly a third of the 208 municipal programs in the state hold poor to failing marks, according to the Leroy Collins Institute at Florida State University.

The institute released a report last week that shows the majority of the municipal pension plans in the states 100 largest cities are at least 70 percent funded, earning a grade of C or better on a 10-point scale, with 14 percent getting A marks.

Economists consider a funding level higher than 80 percent to be sound.

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