Florida taxpayers put up more than $1.5 billion last year to help bankroll pensions for members of the state’s largest public employee retirement system. That ought to dispel any notion that the system is only the concern of its members and their government employers. Taxpayers have plenty of skin in the game, too.
Orlando SentinelFilter by Source: Chamber Foundation, Chamber of Commerce, Political Operations
In October, the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance announced Broward County was an official “Six Pillars” region, an effort developed by the Florida Chamber Foundation to set goals and measure progress for a growth strategy for the next two decades.
They are Central Florida’s power players. And you deserve to know who they are.
That’s why, for the ninth straight year, we’re presenting “The 25 Most Powerful People in Central Florida” — to give you insight as to who’s pulling the strings and running the show in this town.
On Sunday, we unveiled the bottom 15 spots — as chosen by a panel of nine leaders from the business, nonprofit and political sectors. Today we have the top 10.
10. Lars Houmann, Florida Hospital CEO (Last year: 14th) As medicine and health care gain steam in Central Florida, so does the clout of those leading the sector. Houmann, 55, is the first health-care exec to crack the top 10, not only because he runs an expansive hospital chain, but because he gets involved in other community issues, from transportation to helping the uninsured. And now, as chairman of the Florida Chamber of Commerce, Houmann’s reach is statewide.
The falling costs of the system, which provides unemployment payments of up to $275 a week to laid-off workers, coincide with a decline in the tax paid by employers into the unemployment trust fund. The Florida Chamber of Commerce says beginning next year, the minimum tax rate that businesses pay will fall from about $121 per employee to $82 per employee.
Gov. Rick Scott wants all Florida teachers to get state-funded debit cards they can use to purchase school supplies many now pay for with their own money.
The debit card proposal — with no specifics on how much each teacher might have to spend — is one of several Scott officially announced this morning in a speech in Fort Myers. He used the speech to explain the education part of his agenda for the upcoming 2013 legislative session.
The Great Recession has ravaged small businesses across America unlike anything this country has seen in several generations. Florida, where small businesses are the backbone of the economy and create four out of every five new jobs, is feeling the pain, too.
The Orlando-based Realtors group has poured $4 million so far into television ads, mailers and radio spots with the slogan that existing laws allow local governments to “Tax Your Assets Off.” And according to a recent Florida Chamber of Commerce poll, the backers are in good shape, with 62.6 percent of voters — just more than the 60 percent threshold needed — saying they favor the amendment.
Florida needs a new gambling policy that covers racinos, Seminole casinos, Internet betting parlors and proposals for huge Las Vegas-style casinos, legislative leaders say.
And they want to take a two-year break from tinkering with gambling laws so they can devise the new comprehensive policy.
The genius of the American system comes from the recognition that the power of government should be structured and constrained. This November, Floridians, by voting for Amendment 5, will have the opportunity to adopt an appropriate system of checks and balances for our state’s judicial and legislative branches.
NASA and SpaceX announced Thursday that the California rocket company will launch its first cargo-resupply mission as a certified space-agency contractor next month to the International Space Station.
The Falcon 9 rocket, with a Dragon space capsule is scheduled to take off from Cape Canaveral Air Station at 8:34 p.m. Oct. 7.