This Session Spotlight looks at the three pathways being debated in the proposed legislation, and how each track can help students achieve their goals through targeted coursework. The Spotlight also points out that both bills could be strengthened through increased attention to more rigorous English Language Arts assessments and professional training for teachers.
A centralized agency with sufficient authority to set and implement enterprise-wide information technology is long overdue. Florida TaxWatch commends the Senate and the House for understanding the importance of technology governance and encourages the Legislature to establish a centralized State agency responsible for IT and business processes, with the necessary authority, as recommended by the Florida TaxWatch Government Cost Savings Task Force.
According to this Briefing, When the Legislature wants to sweep a trust fund, it should be required to introduce a separate general bill for each trust fund sweep. This would allow input from legislators and testimony from concerned parties, and require an up or down vote on each sweep.
This Economic Commentary looks at the opportunities for increasing Tampa Bays export industry, and the new cooperative work the area is doing with The Brookings Institution as part of a nationwide initiative.
The Florida Agency for Health Care Administration should continue with its planned July 1, 2013 implementation of a prospective payment plan for Medicaid hospital inpatients based on a Medicaid Diagnosis-Related Group (DRG) system, according to this new Report from the TaxWatch Center for Health & Aging.
Florida's claim bill process is in need of reform. This processâ€”by which persons can petition the legislature for payment of tort claims against governmentâ€”has received increased attention in recent years due to high profile cases and large awards. This Report makes recommendations on reforming the system.
This summary of the Florida TaxWatch Center for Health & Aging ARNP Scope of Practice Summit recaps the presentations and panel discussion from the Summit, which brought together state and national policy experts on the topic, and helped to advance reform discussions in the Capitol.
If the "Sequester" kicks in on March 1, the immediate cuts to the budget authority are $85 billion, and the Congressional Budget Office has indicated that spending will be reduced by $44 billion by the end of September 2013. It is incredibly important that everyone understands how detrimental these cuts will be to U.S.'s fourth largest economy and to its recovery from the Great Recession. This Economic Commentary details some of the effects of these automatic federal spending cuts on Florida.
This Briefing looks at the history of the CST in Florida, compares Florida's rates to other states, finding that Florida is the fourth-highest state in the U.S. for this tax, and recommends that the Legislature look to reduce CST rates to "benefit a wide range of Floridians, affecting virtually all individuals and businesses."
Due primarily to its substantial and unpredictable long-term costs, the Florida TaxWatch Government Cost Saving Task Force has made recommendations to reform the current Florida Retirement System (FRS) for the past several years. Given the complexity of this issue, this Report is a further expansion, clarification, and reinforcement of these recommendations.
Some Florida cities are taking meaningful steps towards reducing their pension liabilities, according to this Report, released by Florida TaxWatch, and the LeRoy Collins Institute, housed at Florida State University.
To address the steps that Florida has taken and should continue to take to match our graduates to the industries that need a workforce with skill-specific education, this Briefing looks at two aspects of the issue: how the right degree can make a difference in lifetime earning potential, and how Florida's Supply and Demand Portal can help students and employers achieve their goals.
This Report includes a recap of the 2012 Justice Summit in Florida, as well as three pre-meeting recaps from the run up to the Summit.
This Budget Watch looks at the details of the Governor's $74.2 billion proposed budget for FY2013-14.
This month's Economic Commentary focuses on job growth in Florida during 2012. The analysis shows that Florida has continued its recovery from its most recent recession, showing strong job creation in a significant number of sectors.
The economic modeling done in this Report, looking at the impact of investing more in Florida's tourism industry, indicates that the Florida tourism industry reaching the milestone of 100 million annual visitors would create 121,298 jobs, and increase overall personal income for Floridians by $5.3 billion.
Continuing a legacy that has resulted in the savings of at least $3.5 billion in Floridians' hard-earned tax dollars over the last four years alone, Florida TaxWatch added more than $1 billion in cost-saving options for lawmakers this year, with the release of this Report. This year's Report is the fifth in as many years from Florida TaxWatch, the independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit taxpayer research institute and government watchdog headquartered in Tallahassee.
This month's Economic Commentary focuses on the growing bioscience industry in Florida, which is bringing high-wage job opportunites to Florida faster than almost any other state.
This month's Economic Commentary focuses on the aerospace industry in Florida following the closure of the Space Shuttle program at NASA. According to Enterprise Florida, the state ranks 2nd nationally for aviation, aerospace, and space establishments, employing some 83,200 Floridians, and providing a significant amount of the high tech manufacturing jobs in the state. With private and tourist-centered space travel on the very near horizon, the Commentary looks at what Florida is doing to keep this vital sector active in the Sunshine State.
This month's Economic Commentary looks at the economic impact of Florida's orange industry. Florida produces more oranges than any other U.S. state, totaling more than 71 percent of the U.S. supply during the 2010-11 season. Overall citrus production has an impact of $9 billion per year on the Florida economy.
Consistent with the research and educational mission of Florida TaxWatch, the 2012 Voter Guide is the third consecutive Guide released during a statewide election cycle. TaxWatch released similar Guides in 2010 and 2008, and has written extensively on individual Constitutional Amendments going back nearly 30 years.
This month's Economic Commentary discusses how Florida is investing in seaport and related infrastructure more than at any other time in our history, to diversify Florida's economy and make our state more competitive. This new infrastructure will allow Florida companies to be more efficient handling freight, and will allow additional opportunities for companies to transport their goods to markets in and out of Florida.
The September 2012 Florida TaxWatch Budget Outlook provides details on the revenue projections, how much spending is expected to increase, and a look at Critical and High Priority Needs items within that expected increase.
With counties in 32 states placed on the USDA's list of primary disaster areas because of drought conditions, this month's Economic Commentary looks at the effects of the drought on food, and potentially fuel, prices. Corn is currently at the highest per-ton cost in history, which will lead to increases in commodities like milk, meat, and eggs for us all.