Beyond the Pandemic: Long-Term Changes and Challenges for Florida’s Workforce

/ Categories: Research, COVID Recovery, Economic Development

The third article in our Beyond the Pandemic series... In many ways, Florida's workforce looks starkly different from when it first entered the pandemic over a year ago. Challenges with controlling the spread of COVID-19 precipitated the widespread use of remote work and other digital formats across the state. These changes accelerated workforce trends that were present before COVID-19 (such as automation) and now foreshadow a future workforce that will constantly face disruption and displacement.

2020 Annual Report

From the 40th Anniversary celebration to the pandemic, Florida TaxWatch was on the job for Florida's taxpayers

/ Categories: Research, Annual Reports

LIKE THE GREAT DEPRESSION, THE MOON LANDING, OR SEPTEMBER 11, NO ONE WILL EVER FORGET WHAT 2020 WAS LIKE. There was not a single American (or virtually any citizen of the world) unaffected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the stories of the past year will be told for generations. This is the story of how Florida TaxWatch worked through this crazy year.

Beyond the Pandemic: Long-Term Changes and Challenges for K-12 Education in Florida

/ Categories: Research, COVID Recovery, Economic Development, Education

FOR STUDENTS, LEARNING IS A CUMULATIVE PROCESS WHEREBY KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS ARE DEVELOPED OVER SUCCESSIVE YEARS. As such, any sudden and large disruption to in-person instruction can have a cascading effect on student learning and life outcomes beyond formal education. Due to COVID-19, the unprecedented disruption in learning, especially for K-12 students, raises concerns about what unfinished learning may mean for academic achievement, mental health, and social development in the future. So what happens now?

Monitoring and Oversight of General Obligation Bonds to Improve Broward County Schools: SMART Program Quarterly Report Review for the Quarter Ended March 31, 2021

/ Categories: Research, Broward BOC, BOC

On May 28, 2021, Florida TaxWatch received the Bond Oversight Committee Quarterly Report for the Quarter Ended March 31, 2021 (“Quarterly Report”). This report provides updated information on the implementation of the District’s SMART Program and the use of general obligation bond funds to purchase and install technology upgrades, purchase music, and arts equipment, improve school safety, upgrade athletic facilities, and renovate educational facilities.

Addressing the Medicaid Funding Gap Through a Directed Payment Program

/ Categories: Research, Health Care, Insurance

Medicaid is a joint federal-state health insurance program that provides medical coverage to more than four million low-income Floridians. Administered by the state Agency for Health Care Administration, Medicaid is jointly funded through a federal cost-sharing agreement. During fiscal year 2020-21, Florida’s appropriated budget for Medicaid is $29.7 billion.

2021 Budget Turkey Watch Report

An analysis of the transparency and accountability of the budget process

/ Categories: Research, Budget Turkeys, Budget/Approps, Taxpayer Guide

The 2021 Budget turkey Watch report: an analysis of the transparency and accountability of the Budget processis the result of an annual independent review of Florida’s FY2021-22 budget by Florida TaxWatch. Budget Turkeys are items, usually local member projects, placed in individual line-items or accompanying proviso language that are added to the final appropriations bill without being fully scrutinized and subjected to the budget process.

State COVID-19 Restrictions & the Road Back to Economic Normal

/ Categories: Research, COVID Recovery, Economic Development

In the past year, the COVID-19 pandemic has greatly changed the world, with much of the country implementing various measures to minimize the negative health and economic impacts of widespread infection. State responses to the pandemic have been diverse and complex, with some instituting strict restrictions on businesses and others rolling back restrictions at a faster pace. At the same time, vaccine rollouts are accelerating, and state economic recoveries seem to be on varied paths with some approaching pre-pandemic levels of employment faster than others. The present analysis offers a cursory look at the relationship between state COVID-19 restrictions and their respective economic recoveries by running a preliminary correlation test between the two measures.

Letter to the Governor on E-Fairness

/ Categories: Research, E-Fairness

On behalf of the members, staff, and distinguished volunteer leadership of Florida TaxWatch, led by our Chairman, U.S. Senator George S. LeMieux, I strongly encourage you to sign Senate Bill 50 – The Randy Miller Act – known by most as the 2021 E-Fairness bill or the taxpayer penalty relief endeavor.

An Independent Assessment of the Value of Broward up

/ Categories: Research, Education, Broward BOC

Broward UP (“Unlimited Potential”) is an innovative, community-centric approach to delivering necessary workforce education in communities most impacted by high unemployment and low education attainment. Pioneered by Broward College, Broward UP seeks to increase college access, improve degree and certificate attainment, and raise economic mobility in six Broward County ZIP codes with disproportionately higher rates of unemployment and lower educational attainment relative to surrounding areas. By providing free, in-demand courses, Broward UP holistically reduces the perpetuation of poverty in communities.

Taxpayer Independence Day

/ Categories: Research, Taxes, Taxpayer Guide

On Friday, April 9, Florida TaxWatch joins the taxpayers in our state in celebrating Florida Taxpayer Independence Day 2021. On that day, Floridians are finally earning money for themselves–not for the tax collector. This symbolic date assumes that every dollar earned since January 1 goes to pay federal, state, and local tax obligations.

Florida’s Proposed Privacy Protection Act

/ Categories: Research

Due to the proliferation of data-driven products and services over the past few years, many countries and states around the world have adopted laws relating to the data collection and use of personal information.

Economic Commentary - The State of Medicaid in Florida

/ Categories: Research, Health Care

Even as the economic recovery begins to take form in Florida, the challenges confronting the state’s Medicaid system will remain a forefront issue. For this reason, it is important to understand how Florida’s Medicaid program has fared during the public health emergency and what economic challenges lie ahead as the state goes forward in recovery.

Every Child a Swimmer

/ Categories: Research

Water, water, everywhere! Florida has more than 8,436 miles of shoreline and an estimated 1.5 million residential swimming pools. It should come as no surprise then that Florida leads the U.S. in unintentional drowning deaths of children ages 1–4.

The Economic Impact of COVID-19 on Florida’s Employment

Variations Across Industry, Region, and Income

/ Categories: Research, COVID Recovery

AS FLORIDA APPROACHES THE ONE-YEAR MARK SINCE THE STATE REPORTED ITS FIRST POSITIVE COVID-19 CASE, Florida’s recovery picture seems to be a mixed bag. The state closed out 2020 on an optimistic note as unemployment inched downward to 6.1 percent from a high of 13.8 percent in April 2020, but as January 2021 drew to a close, first time jobless benefit claims rose by more than 71,000 across the state.

A Decade of Self-Taxing

Florida voters have approved $10.8 billion in local taxes & bond issues since 2010

/ Categories: Research, Taxes, Local Government, Taxpayer Guide

Florida has long relied on its local governments to fund a major portion of its government services. In fact, that reliance is heavier than in all but one other state. Florida’s counties, municipalities, school districts, and special districts provide more than half (52.6 percent) of all state and local revenue collected in the state, trailing only New York (54.7 percent).1 Our state has consistently ranked first or second in this metric for many years.

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