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Florida’s unemployment rate drops slightly in June

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Florida’s unemployment is dropping slightly. The June unemployment rate was 5.5 percent, compared to 5.7 percent the month before. The state added 7,000 jobs last month, according to figures released Friday by the Department of Economic Opportunity. The state’s jobless rate remains higher than the national rate of 5.3 percent. There are approximately 529,000 unemployed Floridians, out of a labor force of nearly 9.6 million people. June’s rate was a 0.6 percentage point drop from a year ago. Hendry County…

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Jesse Panuccio one step closer to staying DEO chief

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Jesse Panuccio is now a step closer to remaining executive director of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. With a 5-1 vote Wednesday, the Senate Transportation, Tourism and Economic Development Committee cleared Panuccio’s nomination. State Sen. Jack Latvala offered no comment when asked why he would not recommend Panuccio to remain as Florida’s economic developer in chief. Leading the DEO for two years, Panuccio played a key role in Gov. Rick Scott’s business recruitment and job creation efforts since 2011.…

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Unemployment drops slightly in February

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Job creation in Florida slowed last month, but continues. The unemployment rate for February fell one-tenth of one percent to 5.6, a drop of 0.6 percent compared to a year ago and down 2.3 percent -– down from February 2013, the Department of Economic Opportunity reported Friday. The U.S. unemployment rate is 5.5 percent. Employers added 19,700 jobs in the month, with private sector hiring 14,900 workers. There are 548,000 people in Florida looking for work, and the state’s workforce…

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U.S. Attorney arrests woman for ACCESS Florida security breach

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The personal identification information of more than 200,000 Floridians who had applied for public benefits may have been stolen and sold, according to the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida. A joint federal-state investigation has resulted in the arrest of Cora Eutsay, who is accused of using her position at CareerSource South Florida in Opa-Locka to access the information and then sold the information of at least 200 individuals, according to an arrest warrant. “Eutsay’s employment credentials were…

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The day that was at the Florida Capitol — March 24

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State Rep. Matt Gaetz proclaimed last month that “no tax is safe” and Tuesday he released a $690 million tax cutting plan moving the House budget plan farther away from the one the Senate is working on. Gaetz wants to enact two tax cuts, create four tax credits, implement 10 sales tax exemptions and schedule a back-to-school tax holiday. The Senate will not consider any tax cuts until problems related to the end of federal hospital reimbursement program is resolved.…

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Florida, other states must respond to climate change for federal funds, report says

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A national news publication is reporting that a federal agency is making it tougher for governors including Rick Scott of Florida to deny man-made climate change. Early this month, the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting said the Florida Department of Environmental Protection under Scott had an unwritten policy against employees discussing climate change and sea level rise. Scott denied there was such a policy. Now Inside Climate News, which won a Pulitzer Prize in 2013 for national reporting, says the…

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Lawmakers consider giving dentists up to $100K to work in underserved areas

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House and Senate panels will take up legislation on Monday that would create “Dental Care Access Accounts” and provide up to $100k over five years to attract dentists to work in areas that lack access to dental care. The bills — HB 657 and SB 606 — would allow dentists who work at public health programs or who are committed to opening a private practice capable of serving at least 1,200 patients to qualify for the accounts. Under the bills…

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