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It’s 'Your Business' to Be Prepared for Hurricane Season

June 19, 2019 - 7:15am
Steven Finver

Hurricane Michael was a stark reminder of how quickly a hurricane can escalate. As the 2019 storm season begins, preparations should be under way not only for Florida residents, but businesses of every type and size.

Like homeowners, businesses must work to mitigate damage, and have a plan -- for business owners, many with networks of employees, it is critical to develop a disaster preparedness plan and to urge families to do the same.

'Sweeping Reduction' in 2018 Fuel Costs Helped Drive Up Florida's Tourism Numbers

June 18, 2019 - 7:00am

It wasn’t too long ago when gasoline here and nationwide was more than $4 a gallon and tourism agencies were handing out gas cards to offset fuel costs and entice out-of-towners to visit.

Things sure have changed.

Pump prices, despite the gradual bump in recent weeks, remain far lower than that historic figure, hovering below $3. Out-of-staters are no longer deterred from driving or flying to Florida for business or pleasure. And it’s paying headline-making dividends.

Government Regulations for Social Media that Censor Political Speech? No Thanks

June 17, 2019 - 7:30am

In recent weeks, social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube have banned hate groups and controversial figures such as Louis Farrakhan of the Nation of Islam, Alex Jones of Infowars, and others. This resulted in a chorus of criticism from politicians (across the ideological spectrum), pundits, and the general public. The Trump administration even launched a website to allow users who have been suspended or banned from social media platforms to voice a their complaints about political bias.

The Truth Is Better Than Fiction

June 12, 2019 - 10:15am
Marion Hammer

It never ceases to amaze me how quickly people believe distortions printed by the media -- particularly in their efforts to help the enemies of freedom and the Second Amendment and to try to destroy the NRA. Nor does it cease to amaze me how willing the media are to deliberately distort and mislead. 

Workers’ Comp Reform Necessary to Protect Both Employers and Employees

May 10, 2019 - 6:30am
Jerry E. Pierce

Small businesses have been a driving force in our economy since our great nation’s founding in 1776.  They are innovators and entrepreneurs, launched by dedicated and hard-working Americans taking their passion and turning it into valuable societal contributions that people across America rely on every day. But any threat against them could have dangerous reverberations both for businessowners and their employees. 

Florida’s Medical Marijuana Program Is on Track, but only Partway There

May 9, 2019 - 8:45am
Peter Barsoom

The demand of Florida voters is clear. For far too long, patients have stood by waiting for regulators to implement the 2016 Medicinal Marijuana Constitutional Amendment.

Under the law, the Department of Health is required to issue four new business licenses for every 100,000 patients. Florida currently has registered over 207,000 qualified patients and the number is growing -- without adding the requisite licenses. Lawsuits and regulatory red tape have bogged the program down and patients awaiting access to medicinal marijuana continue to suffer. 

No Telling Which Horse Would Have Won the Derby in Florida

May 7, 2019 - 9:00am
Jennifer J.H. Pierce

Had Saturday's Kentucky Derby been run in Florida, there's a possibility the winner's growingly contentious disqualification might not have ever happened.  

While most of Florida’s horseracing community went about its business on Jan. 4, 2012, the State of Florida’s Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering quietly repealed a slate of regulations pertaining to Thoroughbred racing under the cover of Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s 2011 Executive Order to repeal regulations that are “unneeded” or “unnecessarily burdensome to small business.”  

Joe Gruters Should Not Listen to Anti-Conservative Groups on Anti-Immigration Bill

April 25, 2019 - 3:15pm
Mario H. Lopez

Sen. Joe Gruters, R-Sarasota, has taken heat in recent weeks for sponsoring a bill targeting so-called “sanctuary cities” following extensive consultation with one hardline anti-immigration group, and reliance on “research” produced by another.

There is plenty wrong with this situation, including that these groups have a vision of immigration policy that runs directly opposed to bedrock conservative principles.  

An Open Letter to the Legislature on Criminal Justice Reform

April 25, 2019 - 7:30am

The Florida Legislature is wrestling again with criminal justice reform because of the persistence of Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, an outspoken advocate for far-reaching reforms who has good intentions.  As a result, the Senate is positioned to pass an omnibus bill, SB 642, while the House is ready to take up a considerable number of bills that individually encompass some of the same issues.

Okeechobee Watershed Projects, Septage Solutions In Big Need of Funding

April 25, 2019 - 7:30am
Dan Peterson

The Legislature is in its final days and many bills concerning environmental protection from nitrogen and other nutrient “pollutants” seem sidelined for this year.  Few bills confronted the real issue: preventing nitrogen and other nutrients from entering groundwater and the aquifer. 

Perhaps they are being put off until they can be debated more fully next year, or there is a legislative “surprise” yet to come.  These issues are important and deserve careful consideration.  Most remaining bills deal more with reorganizing bureaucracies and requiring reports. 

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