The Sunshine Economy

9 a.m. and 7 p.m. Mondays

The Sunshine Economy, takes a fresh look at the key industries transforming South Florida into a regional powerhouse. From investments in health care, storm preparedness, international trade, real estate and technology based start-ups, tune in to learn more about one of the worlds most vibrant and diverse economies.

Tom Hudson
Credit WLRN

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Miami Herald

For the first time in decades, Florida lawmakers passed new limits on guns. They also approved a record-breaking state budget. Gov. Rick Scott signed the $88.7 billion budget into law on Friday.

 

The budget includes $400 million for school safety and mental health counseling as part of a historic bill in response to the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting. It increases overall public education funding, but not by much in big school districts like those in South Florida.

 

AP Photo/Terry Renna

If the call to boycott travel to Florida over gun control has any impact, this tweet is where it began.

Tom Hudson / WLRN

Mike Fernandez has raised millions of dollars for mostly Republican politicians, but he says no one seeking public office will get his money if they don't support gun control.

courtsey: Citrix Systems

One out of every 100 open jobs advertised in Broward County today is at a single address: the Fort Lauderdale headquarters of the software company Citrix Systems. Citrix CEO David Henshall says the company has postings for 277 positions out of the 21,500 open jobs county-wide, according to Career Source Broward.

Mary Grace Scully/WUFT News

Seventy years ago, the goal of a new University of Florida president was to have the school ranked among the "top 10 or 12 great state universities of the country." In 2018, Kent Fuchs realized that vision when UF was tied for ninth on the annual ranking of public universities by US News and World Report. Fuchs has updated that goal to get into the top five.

courtsey of Amazon

Bob Swindell learned that South Florida made Amazon's shortlist for its second corporate headquarters like a lot of people -- from a news alert on his phone.

Swindell did not get a heads up that an announcement was coming or that the bid he worked on would be included. He is the president and CEO of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance, one of three county economic development agencies in South Florida that collaborated on the effort to lure one of the world's largest companies to make a second home here.

Associated

Instead of trumpeting enviable travel times between downtown neighborhoods, promoting its high-end train service and asserting itself as part of the solution to untangling traffic, Brightline has had to focus on rail safety in its first week of service.

 

Three people were hit by Brightline passenger trains in the first week they started running trips between stations in West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale. Two were killed and one person was injured in the three separate crashes at railway crossings.

Tom Hudson

A month after Hurricane Irma filled his mobile home with 17 inches of flood water, Brian Branigan received a permit from Monroe County to replace his home's drywall and flooring. By early December, the drywall had been replaced and new plywood had been laid. He expects to start putting in the linoleum floor this week with the hopes of moving back into the home before the end of the month.

"My home is modest," he said. "It's just a mobile home, but it's home. It's not a house."

AP Photo/Steve Cannon)

The state’s economy may be booming, but money coming into the state government is less than expected and costs are higher, at least in the short-term, thanks primarily to Hurricane Irma. That is the financial environment as Florida lawmakers gather in Tallahassee for the 2018 legislative session.

Tom Hudson

It’s just over a year since Florida helped deliver the presidency to Donald Trump. The feelings among voters still range from anxious to excited, disgusted to “we got what we voted for.”

Another year of Art Basel and Art Week is history, but will the growing number of art museums in South Florida experience a Basel bump?

 

courtsey of David Fine/Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta

Raphael Bostic is not a familiar name.

That is unless you work deep inside the financial industry or operate inside academic circles researching the economy. Bostic is the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. His territory includes South Florida.

He says he worries a lot about economic mobility. He thinks all business owners should be concerned about paying their employees enough to afford a decent quality of life, and he's comfortable with the Fed's approach to slowly raise interest rates.

Tom Hudson

This year is six weeks shorter than last year.

Not on the calendar, or course, but there are six fewer weeks this year for people getting their health insurance through the Affordable Care Act -- otherwise known as Obamacare or ACA-- to sign up for 2018.

This year’s open enrollment period to sign-up for the coverage is six weeks long and it’s already underway. It ends December 15th. Last year, participants had three months to buy the health insurance or face a fine.

  

screenshots of C-SPAN videos

This week in Congress, the most significant rewriting of the U.S. tax code could take a big step toward becoming law. The U.S. House of Representatives may vote on a big package of tax changes as soon as Thursday. The decision would come less than two weeks after the initial legislation was introduced by House Republican leaders and only a week after the House Ways and Means Committee debated the bill, eventually passing it through on a party-line vote.

 

Tom Hudson

Construction cranes may dot the South Florida skyline. Construction zones may occupy our streets. Cement trucks and tractor trailers carrying bulldozers may mingle in our traffic. But there are fewer people working in construction in South Florida than there were a decade ago when the real estate boom came crashing down.

This building boom doesn’t have unbridled activity like the last one, and it doesn’t have the workforce either. Sixteen percent fewer people are working in construction today compared to the beginning of 2006, even though pay has jumped 15 percent.

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