Rick Scott

Florida will move ahead with online voter registration despite Gov. Rick Scott’s worries.

Citing “some hesitation,” Scott signed Senate Bill 228 on Friday, which mandates an online voter registration system be up and running by October 1, 2017. Sec. of State Ken Detzner -- Florida’s top elected official -- opposed the measure. He pleaded with lawmakers not to pass it but in the end, he stood aside.

In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses revised tourism figures from the state of Florida, a slowing U.S economy to start 2015, and job prospects for the graduating Class of 2015.

pensacolatoday.com

The next round in the fight against higher toll rates on the Garcon Point Bridge could involve Florida’s chief executive.

At issue is a pending $1.25 increase, which would push the toll to five dollars each way. Gov. Rick Scott met last week with state Rep. Doug Broxson – a Gulf Breeze Republican who’s leading the charge against the higher toll on the bridge, which serves as a link between Milton and Gulf Breeze.

floridajobs.org

New figures released by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity show the state’s unemployment rate dropped slightly from January to last month.

Gov. Rick Scott made the announcement Friday morning at Norris Sports Group in Naples.

“In the month of February we added 14,900 private-sector jobs,” said Scott. “What’s going on in Florida, is we have employment. We’re down to 5.6% unemployment. We’ve added in four years and two months 807,000 jobs.”

FloridaJobs.org

Florida’s unemployment rate held steady from December to January at 5.7 percent. Heading into Governor Rick Scott’s second term, the focus is on private sector job growth.

According to the Department of Economic Opportunity, January’s figure translates to 551,000 Floridians considered unemployed, from a work force of 9.7 million. But DEO Chief Jesse Panuccio says that’s not the whole story.

Office of Rick Scott

Gov. Rick Scott visited Pensacola Monday, to present a check to the Escambia County School District from the Florida Department of Education. The money is for sustained or significantly improved student achievement at individual schools. 

“It’s because you’ve worked hard,” said Gov. Scott. He was at Blue Angels Elementary School, speaking before a backdrop of students, teachers and administrators.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott is pushing for more tax cuts, more money for schools and lower state university tuition in his annual State of the State Address delivered on Tuesday.

Speaking on the opening of the 2015 legislative session, the Governor told the 160 state lawmakers that they agree on more than they disagree on. He then laid out his goals in the first year of his second term. Those include cutting taxes, spending more money on K-through-12, and making higher education more affordable.

Photo via Flickr// Matt Deavenport / https://flic.kr/p/p2yo5f

If you wondered why you spent a little more time in line at attractions last year, or it took a bit longer to find an unoccupied spot at the beach, the numbers are in to explain.

Almost 4%  more people came to the Sunshine State in 2014 over the previous year, according to figures released by Visit Florida, the state’s tourism marketing arm. That’s inching closer to an annual goal sought by Gov. Rick Scott.

“This is a great day: 97.3 million tourists,” said the Governor. “I look forward to passing 100 million tourists.”

Republican incumbent Rick Scott rallied the voters in November for a come-from-behind win over Democratic challenger Charlie Crist, but that doesn’t mean he’s popular with them, according to a new poll from Quinnipiac University.

The Governor gets a 42% job approval rating from 936 Florida voters, who were contacted from January 22 to February 1. But 47% percent disapprove, similar to the numbers from Scott’s first term.

IHMC

Governor Rick Scott brought his statewide push to add more funding for STEM courses, Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, to Pensacola Monday morning. The funding is part of Scott’s “Keep Florida Working” initiative.

Speaking to a crowd of elected officials, scientists and students at the Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition, the Governor said that he’s asking lawmakers for $1 million in STEM funding for kindergarten through high school.

Florida's Department of Law Enforcement is getting a new leader, but questions remain about why Governor Rick Scott abruptly shook up the agency.

Attorney General Pam Bondi, CFO Jeff Atwater, and Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam,  the Florida Cabinet, voted Tuesday to appoint longtime FDLE veteran Richard Swearingen to replace Gerald Bailey as Commissioner.

Sources say Bailey was forced by the Scott administration to resign in December. But the Governor had a different take.

“He resigned,” said Scott.

University of West Florida

In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper provides analysis of Governor Rick Scott’s recommended education budget, the improving housing industry, and Visit Florida’s “Destination 2020” tourism plan.

In his "Keep Florida Working" budget plan for 2015-2016, Gov. Scott is proposing historic per pupil funding of $7,176, an increase of $50 over the previous record for fiscal year 2007-2008. 

Governor Rick Scott

Florida Governor Rick Scott is beginning his second term with the same promise he made when he took office four years ago: to create jobs by making Florida more business-friendly.

Scott was sworn in at noon Eastern Time on Tuesday at Florida's Old Capitol, on a 60 degree day in Tallahassee. At the start of his inaugural address – which ran for more than 20 minutes, Scott said the rancorous 2014 campaign, in which he defeated Charlie Crist by one percentage point, is over.

Photo via Flickr//Vox Efx

The big news of election night was Governor Rick Scott (48.3%) edging out challenger and former governor Charlie Crist (46.9%). The pattern of incumbents keeping their seats in Florida held, though, throughout the panhandle.

***note all results are still unofficial***

Statewide:
Attorney General: Pam Bondi (R) retained with 55.24% of the vote.
Chief Financial Officer: Jeff Atwater (R) 59%
Commissioner of Agriculture: Adam Putnam (R) 58.8%

  On the eve of the election, the battle for the governor’s chair remained a toss-up. Voters in the Panhandle, for the most part, have had to admire – or revile – the candidates from afar.

Florida's brutal and expensive race for governor is ending in the same way it began: bitter, personal and close as ever. The Tampa Tribune reports the overall price tag is expected to be well north of $150 million. That would also make it the most expensive among the nation’s other 36 gubernatorial races this year.  

Pages