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At a meeting of the Florida Revenue Estimating Conference (REC), state economists announced today that Corporate Income Tax collections increased significantly during the last fiscal year, triggering a refund for corporate income tax payers.
The refunds help offset collections from an expanded tax base which is helping pay for the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.
The Florida Chamber of Commerce credits the Florida Legislature for taking steps to ensure Florida continues to have one of the best tax climates in the country.
Florida's robust military is expected to play a key role in growing the economy into one of the largest in the world.
On Tuesday, the Florida Chamber Foundation announced during the 2019 Military, Defense and Veterans Opportunities Summit that Florida’s defense industry is playing a major role in efforts to grow Florida from its current 17th largest economy in the world to the 10th largest economy.
Florida remains one of the most strategically important states for the U.S. Armed Forces with 20 major military installations, three combat command centers and thousands of defense contractors supporting more than 800,000 Florida jobs.
A separate study released by the Florida Chamber of Commerce shows that an upcoming ballot measure would cost billions annually in the state of Florida.
The 2020 amendment, backed by a political committee known as Citizens for Energy Choices, would attempt to create "competitive" electricity markets in which customers would have the right to choose electricity providers or to produce their own power.
If passed by 60 percent of the vote in 2020, the “Right to Competitive Energy Market for Customers of Investor-Owned Utilities" will change drastically change Florida's energy sector.
Florida's governor is getting involved in rooting out the ongoing corruption that plagues Tallahassee.
On Friday, Gov. Ron DeSantis issued an Executive Order, removing suspended City Commissioner for the City of Tallahassee Scott Maddox from his post.
The order comes three days after the Democrat, along with longtime business associate Paige Carter-Smith, pled guilty to two extortion charges and a tax fraud charge.
Both extortion counts hold 20 years, with the tax fraud charge holding another five.
Gov. Ron DeSantis on Thursday announced the reappointment of Stephen Swindal to the Tampa Port Authority.
Swindal, of Tampa, is the owner of Marine Towing of Tampa. He is also the owner and founder of Pan American Sports Group LLC, a baseball academy in the Dominican Republic that trains prospective major league players.
He is the former CEO of Bay Transportation and provided service to the New York Yankees Partnership and its affiliates in various capacities for over ten years. He last served as a Senior Executive Officer with the New York Yankees Partnership and was Chairman of the Board of Yankee Global Enterprises, LLC (the owner of the New York Yankees Baseball Club and the Yankees Entertainment & Sports Network).
With the gun debate heating up on a national level, one Florida Republican is standing his ground, pushing legislation to end gun-free zones on college campuses across the state.
Rep. Anthony Sabatini, a conservative legislator that represents House District 32, has filed a bill that would eliminate gun-free zones on college campuses in the Sunshine State, allowing concealed weapon permit holders to carry of campuses across the state.
The (HB 6001) mirrors a similar proposal that Sabatini filed last legislative session. That measure died in committee, although Republicans controlled both chambers.
Continuing to fight for people in the Panhandle, First Lady Casey DeSantis made a major announcement for people still dealing with the effects of Hurricane Michael.
On Thursday, the First Lady announced the installation of telehealth portals in 63 public schools throughout six counties in Northwest Florida to provide mental health services to students still recovering from Hurricane Michael.
Receiving the portals are Bay, Gulf, Calhoun, Jackson, Liberty and Franklin counties, and all portals will be fully installed by the start of the school year on Monday, August 12.
Those in Florida who oppose Sen. Lauren Book's controversial measure are speaking out.
On Wednesday, President of Florida Right to Life Lynda Bell responded to Book's proposed bill calling for a constitutional amendment that would prohibit the Florida House of Representatives and Senate from voting on a bill that would affect access to abortions unless women legislators were equally represented.
“Lauren Book has become so radical that she wants to eliminate the constitution and clearly doesn’t understand Representative government," Bell told The Florida Report. "Her bill would halt the voice of every person -- women included -- who happened to vote for a man!"
If successful, Book's bill would undermine the electoral and legislative process in Florida, and attempt to artificially circumvent the way legislators enact and vote on legislation in the Sunshine State.
Republicans looking to keep control of both chambers in Florida are getting a head start on their Democratic colleagues in an effort to continue to push conservative policies throughout the state.
Republican Rep. Anthony Sabatini, an officer in the Florida Army National Guard, is one of the many Republicans gearing up for another run in the Florida House.
Sabatini, one of the most conservative candidates in the legislature, will hold his re-election campaign kickoff event on September 5.
The event, which will be held JB Boondocks Restaurant and Bar in Howey-in-the-Hills, is expected to draw a large crowd of supporters for the conservative candidate who represents House District 32.
Florida's governor has directed the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) to get involved in the Jeffrey Epstein investigation.
On Tuesday, Gov. Ron DeSantis sent a request to the FDLE to take over the investigation pertaining to the Epstein matter following a letter from Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw.
DeSantis issued an Executive Assignment of this case from Palm Beach County to the State Attorney for the Nineteenth Judicial Circuit of Florida. Additionally, the Governor requests FDLE to initiate a preliminary inquiry into other irregularities surrounding the prior state investigation and the ultimate plea agreement.
Abortion was a hot topic this past legislative session, and it looks to continue to be a divisive issue heading into 2020.
Democrat Sen. Lauren Book has filed a bill calling for a constitutional amendment that would prohibit the Florida House of Representatives and Senate from voting on a bill that would affect access to abortions unless women legislators were equally represented.
“No vote about us without us,” Book told the Tallahassee Democrat.
The bill, SJR 60, would create an amendment for voters to decide whether to block a legislative vote on proposals that would curb abortion in the state unless half of the chamber is female.
Looking for ways to bolster and improve upon Florida's bustling tourism scene, Gov, Ron DeSantis announced the launch of a new VISIT FLORIDA eco-friendly travel hub.
The hub features tips and resources for green, sustainable travel throughout the state. Visitors can find information about environmentally friendly attractions, activities, dining, transportation, and lodging – and how to practice voluntourism while in Florida.
“Since taking office, I have made the protection of our environment a top priority,” said DeSantis. “In their continued effort to keep our state at the forefront of travelers’ minds, VISIT FLORIDA’s new eco travel hub will put our beautiful environment on display and enable millions of visitors to take advantage of Florida’s sustainable travel options. More eco-friendly travel to our state will help our economy continue to grow, while keeping taxes low for Floridians.”
Farmers and those working in the agricultural industry in the Panhandle are getting some additonal relief thanks to the DeSantis administration.
Today, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced nearly $13 million has been awarded through the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan for agricultural producers. More than 70 applications have been approved from farmers in Bay, Calhoun, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson, Jefferson, Leon, Liberty, Okaloosa, Wakulla, Walton and Washington counties.
“We remain committed to utilizing all available resources to help Floridians continuing to recover from the devastation left by Hurricane Michael,” said DeSantis. “I’m glad that farmers in the Florida Panhandle were able to utilize the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan to prepare for the upcoming growing season.”
The Florida Sheriffs Association (FSA), one of the largest and most successful law enforcement associations in the nation, announced a changing of leadership for the 2019-2020 year.
Taking over the reigns will be the newly-elected President, Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri. Gualtieri will preside over the association and work with the staff and board of directors to guide the efforts and direction of FSA and its 67 Sheriffs.
“It is an honor to serve as President of a prestigious and historical organization such as the Florida Sheriffs Association,” said Gualtieri. “We will do everything it takes to continue making the association and our community proud.”
On Thursday, Sen. Joe Gruters and Rep. Cord Byrd announced the dates to their highly anticipated immigration tour.
The tour, which will span seven cities in three days across Florida, will see the two legislators traverse the state to gather input from Floridians on the controversial issue of illegal immigration.
The two conservatives plan to use the forum as the foundation for future legislation on the immigration crisis -- which could include an e-verify program or preventing illegal immigrants from obtaining driver's licenses
Major General, U.S. Army (Ret.) Michael D. Jones has been announced to be among the many headline speakers for the August 13-14 Florida Chamber Foundation’s Military, Defense and Veterans Opportunities Summit.
The annual Military, Defense and Veterans Summit brings together industry leaders, economic development experts, policymakers and leaders from the business community to discuss the opportunities and challenges to diversifying Florida’s economy and leveraging veteran’s expertise and skills.
On Wednesday, the Trump administration announced a plan for allowing the importation of cheaper prescription drugs from other countries like Canada, a key proposal among many Republicans in the state of Florida.
The Department of Health and Human Services issued a plan that would permit pilot programs developed by states, pharmacies or drug distributors that sought to safely import prescription medications from Canada. The Food and Drug administration also got involved, advising manufacturers on how they could import high-priced drugs that are sold at a much lower cost in other countries.
Earlier this week, Gov. Ron DeSantis appointed Chad Harrod, the chief executive officer of Harrod Properities Inc., to the Port Tampa Bay Board of Directors.
As CEO, Harrod focuses on the active management and oversight of the companies. He is also responsible for corporate advancement, strategic planning and client relations.
On Thursday, Paul Anderson, chief executive officer and president of Port Tampa Bay, issued the following statement regarding the appointment of Harrod:
Gov. Ron DeSantis issued a memorandum on Wednesday to honor the late Senator Richard Stone.
The first Jewish U.S. senator to represent Florida since the Civil War, Stone passed away on Sunday at the age of 90.
DeSantis made the announcement in a press release obtained by The Florida Report:
"As a symbol of respect for the memory of Senator Stone, and his service to Florida, I hereby direct the flags of the United States and the State of Florida to be flown at half-staff at the Miami-Dade County Courthouse in Miami, Florida, the City Hall of Miami, Florida and at the State Capitol in Tallahassee, Florida, effective immediately until sunset on Wednesday, July 31, 2019"
On Wednesday, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced the appointment of Therisa Meadows as Holmes County Supervisor of Elections.
Meadows, of Bonifay, has been the Assistant Holmes County Supervisor of Elections since 2007. Previously, she served as the Deputy Holmes County Supervisor of Elections from 2000-2007 and as a deputy clerk at the Holmes County Clerk of Circuit Court from 1996-1999. She earned her associate’s degree from Chipola College.
She is filling a vacancy created by the resignation of Debbie Wilcox Morris.
With the dog days of summer underway, many officials and lawmakers around the state are taking a much-needed break from Florida's political scene before the arduous campaign season begins.
One legislator, however, is taking advantage of the summer break, holding four town hall meetings around his district to address the biggest concerns his constituents may have.
This week, Rep. Tommy Gregory announced a series of upcoming town hall meetings to be held in his district. The conservative legislator, who represents Florida's 73rd District, is using the forum to talk about critical issues that matter most to the people who elected him to office.
This week, Gov. Ron DeSantis, alongside state and local leaders, welcomed the first students in Florida's Space Coast new industry-led apprenticeship program.
DeSantis addressed the Space Coast Consortium Apprenticeship Program’s inaugural student class -- comprised of nine students -- hosted by OneWeb.
Under the two-year program, student apprentices will attend classes at Eastern Florida State College two days a week and work on the manufacturing floors of Space Coast companies three days a week.
Turning Point USA, the youth organization that promotes conservative policies to students around the U.S., held their newly branded Teen Student Action Summit in Washington, D.C. this week. The 4-day conference for conservative high school students featured some of the nation's most well-known conservative leaders and activists from across the country.
Some of the speakers included President Donald Trump, Donald Trump Jr., Congressman Dan Crenshaw, and Senator Ted Cruz. The event also featured one of Florida's own -- Republican Rep. Amber Mariano.
Today is Hire a Veteran Day, and Gov. Ron DeSantis is encouraging businesses in the Sunshine State to keep that in mind.
DeSantis and the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) are celebrating national Hire a Veteran Day by encouraging Florida businesses to recruit and employ veterans. Florida leaders and officials say Florida businesses can benefit from the education, leadership experience and dedication veterans have cultivated in their military service.
“We’re proud to celebrate Hire a Veteran Day in Florida as we continue on our mission to be the most veteran-friendly state in the nation,” said DeSantis. “I recognize the important role these brave men and women hold in our communities and will continue to encourage businesses to recruit veterans. The dedication and value they bring to Florida’s economy is vital to the success of our businesses and the diversity of our workforce.”
Gov. Ron DeSantis made a big announcement today that could vastly change Florida's transportation grid.
On Wednesday, DeSantis announced a plan to significantly expand Florida’s electric vehicle infrastructure by increasing the number of charging stations along major thoroughfares throughout the state.'
“As electric cars become more prevalent on our roads and highways, the development of these charging stations is essential to the success of our ever-evolving transportation system,” said DeSantis. “The addition of these stations will encourage Floridians to buy more electric vehicles, improve air quality, assist during disaster evacuations and ensure that Florida is prepared as electric vehicle technology continues to advance.”
Two years after narrowly defeating Rep. James Buchanan in a special election for House District 72, Democrat Margaret Good is setting her sights on Florida's 16th Congressional seat -- held by Buchanan's father, Rep. Vern Buchanan.
Earlier this week, Good made her bid official, announcing that she would run for Congress and challenge seven-term incumbent Buchanan after serving only one term in the Florida legislature.
"I'm so excited to officially announce -- I'm running for Congress in Florida's 16th!" Good tweeted on Monday morning. "We deserve so much more from our government and I look forward to doing the hard work to make real change in people's lives."
With the summer sun heating up in the Sunshine State, so too does the campaign engine and political coffers in Florida.
Republican House member Alex Andrade is getting a head start on the campaign season, holding his first re-election fundraiser on August 8.
The event, which will be held at Perfect Plain Brewing Co. in Pensacola, is expected to draw a large crowd for the conservative candidate in his bid to continue to represent the 2nd House District.
Andrade, an attorney at Moore, Hill, and Westmoreland has represented the district -- which includes parts of Escambia and Santa Rosa counties -- since winning in 2018.
This week, Governor Ron DeSantis announced $16.2 million in awards for 24 small and rural communities across the state through the Florida Small Cities Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program.
The program, administered by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO), helps communities fund infrastructure improvements and housing rehabilitation.
The Florida Small Cities Community Development Block Grant program is a partnership between the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and DEO.
President Donald Trump made headlines last week for his response to two four Democrats -- Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley, and Rashia Talib -- telling them to "go back" to where they come from.
The tweet by the U.S. leader drew the ire from many on the far-Left, resulting in the resurgence of Democrats calling him "racist" and "xenophobe."
Since then, the fight between Trump and Democrats have intensified, with both sides doubling down on their stance.
While the fight for who loves America more continues to play out on a national level between "The Squad" and President Trump. Florida politics seems to have its version of the squabble unfolding between two State House members.
On Monday night, Democrat House member Cindy Polo targeted Republican Rep. Anthony Sabatini for a tweet he put out last week during the height of the confrontation between the president and the four freshmen congresswomen.
The small business scene in the Sunshine State remains volatile, according to the latest survey by the Florida Chamber of Commerce.
While the state's private-sector continues to thrive and Florida’s small businesses continue to boost the economy, finding qualified workers to fill available jobs continues to be an issue for many entrepreneurs, keeping small business owners up at night
“Florida’s small businesses continue to be concerned about being able to hire a talented workforce,” said Dr. Jerry Parrish, Chief Economist and Director of Research at the Florida Chamber Foundation. “Improving Florida’s talent pipeline for a better workforce will help ensure jobs have talented employees, and will help put workers on the path to prosperity – leading goals of Florida 2030, Florida's next strategic plan.
On Thursday, First Lady Casey DeSantis continued her work as a central figure in Gov. Ron DeSantis' administration, holding a listening session on mental health and substance abuse at the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office in Sanford, Florida.
Today's session coincides with her week-long tour around Florida, shedding light on mental health and substance abuse issues the plague Florida schools.
This was her second listening session of the day following a stop at Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Sun Coast in Venice.
As Gov. Ron DeSantis' popularity continues to rise in Florida, so does his recognition on a national level. Just six months since taking office and DeSantis has already made a top 10 most popular governors list.
A poll released by Morning Consult on Thursday shows that DeSantis is among the most popular governors in the U.S., receiving a 57 percent approval rating from Florida voters. Likewise, only 28 percent disapprove of his performance.
With this high approval rating, DeSantis comes in at No. 10 out of 50 governors. All of the top governors ranked in the poll are Republicans, with the top two spots being held by Govs. Charlie Baker of Massachusetts and Larry Hogan of Maryland.
Out of all the governors who made the list, DeSantis continues to be one of President Donald Trump's biggest allies. DeSantis' close relationship with Trump has resulted in the two appearing at numerous campaign events together.
Republican candidate for U.S. Congress in Florida’s 26th District, Irina Vilariño, is off to a good start in her bid to turn South Florida red.
This week, Vilariño announced she amassed just over $270,000 in her first quarter. She is currently the only Republican filed in the race and is running to unseat Democrat Debbie Mucarsel-Powell.
“I am overwhelmed by the generosity and commitment of my donors to our cause and all we believe in,” said Vilariño. “From the very beginning of our campaign, I have made it clear that the American Dream should not suffer because of liberals who insist every government action should end in higher taxes and needless regulations. I believe in a freedom and prosperity that sustains our strong economic growth under President Trump and ultimately restores faith in the American people.”
In an effort to promote and encourage a strong Republican turnout in the county ahead of the 2020 election, Chairman of the Leon County Republican Party, Evan Power, released the first LCRP update video to keep Republicans in the area up-to-date with what's going on in Florida's political scene.
"Welcome to the first video update for the Leon County Republican Party," Power says in the introduction.
In the video, Power discusses the latest news surrounding the local party, the state's party, as well as what's going on at the national level.
Conservative advocate and Founder of Turning Point USA, Charlie Kirk, is making a major move that will include a lot more sunshine in his life.
Kirk, who has lived in Illinois since starting TPUSA, has announced that he will be calling Florida his new home. The news comes from a column in Chicago's Daily Herald in which the political activist penned an opinion piece to detail his upcoming transition.
"When I started Turning Point USA right here in this state nearly seven years ago, there were many Illinois citizens who provided critical donations.," Kirk said in the article by the Daily Herald. "This is the state in which TPUSA was born, but it is now the state from which those early donors have fled. TPUSA has also fled, taking its 150 employees and $15 million budget along with it."
In the piece, Kirk details why he is leaving the state that he is lived in for so many years, citing "high taxes, excessive regulation and the corruption of Illinois politicians and government" as the primary culprit for his exodus.
In the world of Florida politics, there are no off days.
On Sunday, marijuana advocate and Orlando attorney, John Morgan, took a subtle early morning jab at failed Democrat and embattled public figure, Andrew Gillum, on Twitter. The tweet, which included an article from Tallahassee Reports, the local government news website out of Tallahassee, targeted the former Tallahassee mayor for his skeptical non-profit, Forward Florida Action, which he recently created to quietly transfer $500,000 from his political committee to.
The divergence of funds, which was first reported by the Tampa Bay Times, is now hidden from public eye, meaning Gillum can freely use the money without disclosing where he spends it.
It's official: The Florida Report is live!
Over the weekend, we made a few adjustments to the website to better represent Floridians and the way they go about consuming their daily dose of political news.
With a new identity, logo, and podcast, The Florida Report will offer the latest insider news for Floridians who seek the truth. This isn't pay-for-play, it's a real, political news that isn't purchased by a third party.
In less than a year, we've made headlines in the state, covering everything from the 2018 elections, this year's legislative session, and even moderating a debate for Republicans running for House District 7. With that said, our readership has grown to a level that has enabled us to continue to grow, and because of YOUR support, the changes to the website will better reflect Florida politics.
Floating around Florida's rumor mill last month was the possibility that a high-profile Republican representative would take a stab at a term-limited Senate seat in South Florida.
As expected, those rumors came true...
On Thursday, Rep. Ana Maria Rodriguez announced her candidacy for Florida Senate District 39. The seat, which sits in the Democratic heart of the state, will be up for grabs in 2020.
Current Sen. Antiere Flores is term-limited, providing the perfect opportunity for Rodriguez to keep the district red -- given her heritage and professional experience in the area.
On Tuesday, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced a partnership between Israel and Florida that would serve as a foundation for the new, nonstop seasonal El Al air service between Tel Aviv and Orlando. The new flights, operating during the months of July and August, will offer a direct link between Israel’s second most populous city and one of Florida’s most popular destinations.
DeSantis, an ardent supporter of preserving a healthy relationship between the U.S. and Israel, has been vocal about his stance on making the Sunshine State the most pro-Israel state in the country.
Officials in attendance for today's announcement hope that the flights to Tel Aviv are successful enough to become a constant in the state.
Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody has officially launched the Patriot Protection Week Campaign in recognition of National Military Consumer Protection Month.
The new campaign, announced on Monday, will be offering tips and resources directly to Florida service members and veterans on Twitter. Moody will also be releasing her new Military Consumer Protection Guide, which will contain helpful information about potential scams that target military members, veterans and their families.
Following a successful legislative session that saw him pass a bill that prevents sanctuary cities from overtaking Florida, Sen. Joe Gruters is taking a new approach to fight illegal immigration in the Sunshine State.
Earlier this week, the chairman of the Republican Party of Florida announced he was planning a statewide "listening" tour to hear from Floridians on the topic of immigration.
In a video released on Monday, Gruters outlines the divisive issue that continues to headline the daily news cycle and discusses the effects it has on our country.
With a new month comes a new Republican lawmaker set to take over the speaker's gavel in 2024.
Over the weekend, the majority of the 27-member House Republican class of 2018 attended a meeting in Tampa to decide who would take over the reins as House Speaker in 2024. As expected, every member of the freshmen class rallied around Rep. Daniel Perez, putting aside any preferential differences to unify the caucus in the name of conservatism.
The meeting and subsequent pledge on behalf of the entire class officially marks an end to the behind-the-scenes race that saw Perez take on Rep. Will Robinson for the top spot in the House.