Florida's growing economy created an estimated 192,900 private sector jobs in 2013, according to this annual jobs report. The 2013 growth rates show Florida leading the nations high-population states with the largest per-capita increase in jobs. The state also saw the second-largest yearly percentage increase in non-farm employment in the nation with a 2.6 percent growth rate.
This Briefing recommends that the state decriminalize the possession of minor amounts of oxycodone and hydrocodone, and lower mandatory minimums to save significant tax dollars, reduce prison populations, and help shift the focus to treatment for substance abuse problems.
This report shows that all economic development strategies are not created equal, and details the spillover effects of several popular economic development projects. Although each local community must address its individual economic needs, the report shows that targeting certain areas of economic growth produce higher return on investment.
This Briefing recommends that the state put in place the guidelines for an Adult Civil Citation program, patterned on the existing Juvenile Civil Citation program, which offers an alternative process to misdemeanor arrest for first-time nonviolent youth offenders.
Based on the fact that license revocation is very common in Florida, this report recommends that the state remove the felony sanctions for driving while license suspended, which would align Florida with penalties in similar states, reduce prison populations, and save taxpayer money.
Highlights from Governor Rick Scott's proposed budget plan for FY 2014-15 are featured in this Budget Watch Report. The $74.20 billion spending plan is slightly lower than current year spending, even as lawmakers are expected to have their first budget surplus in many years.