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Reggie Fullwood indicted on federal fraud charges

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A Florida lawmaker is facing federal fraud charges after authorities say he used campaign money to pay for personal expenses like liquor, jewelry, flowers and groceries. The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Jacksonville announced Friday that Democratic Rep. Reggie Fullwood was indicted on 10 charges of wire fraud and four counts of failing to file tax returns. The indictment says Fullwood funneled about $65,000 in campaign contributions through his business and used it for personal items. If convicted, he faces a…

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Florida unemployment rate drops to 4.9% in March

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The unemployment rate to continues to be on the decline, with Florida seeing a slight decrease in the number of jobless people in March. The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 4.9 percent in March, down from 5 percent in February. According to the state’s Department of Economic Opportunity, the national unemployment rate was 5 percent in March. “We’re working every day to attract fast-growing businesses to Florida and help our local businesses get the resources they need to be…

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Audrey Gibson, Mia Jones both “absolutely” eyeing Corrine Brown’s CD 5 seat

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Two potential heirs to the much-discussed 5th Congressional District long held by U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown have confirmed they are sizing up the seat should it become available. “Absolutely,” said state Rep. Mia Jones, one of four veteran Jacksonville politicians seen as a viable contender to run in Brown’s stead. The others are former Jax Mayor Alvin Brown, state Sen. Audrey Gibson, and former state Sen. Tony Hill. “I believe that you have to keep all options open, and it would…

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Rick Scott to launch jobs creation and “tax cut victory” tour

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Governor Rick Scott kicks off his “Million Billion Jobs” victory tour Monday. The self-proclaimed jobs governor is visiting five cities celebrating creating more than one million jobs in five years and $1 billion in tax cuts for Florida families over the past two years. “The debate in Florida is now about how we can create more jobs and how we can cut more taxes, which is a win-win,” Scott said. “I will always want more jobs and more tax cuts,…

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Barack Obama visiting battery plant to promote economic progress

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President Barack Obama will visit Jacksonville, Florida, in a trip that’s sure to re-spark debate about the successes and failures of the economic stimulus package that passed during his first weeks in office. The president will tour a lithium-ion battery plant funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The legislation passed despite overwhelming Republican opposition. The White House says Obama on Friday will visit Saft, a company that manufactures high-tech batteries. Saft won a $95.5 million grant through the…

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Bill Nelson wants limits on drones around airports

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U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson is meeting with Florida’s airport directors as part of a push to garner support for new technology that could protect airports and other sensitive areas from drones. Nelson was in Orlando on Friday meeting with airport directors from Orlando, Miami, Tampa, Jacksonville, Sarasota, Clearwater and Panama City. Nelson is hoping to insert a measure into legislation that would help airports install technologies that could thwart unwanted drones. The technologies would be able to shut down drones…

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Jac VerSteeg: Sen. Joe Abruzzo’s ‘wide open’ alternative to the Seminole Compact

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What happens if the Florida Legislature refuses to ratify the Seminole Compact that Gov. Rick Scott negotiated with the Tribe? No one really knows, of course, but state Sen. Joe Abruzzo, a Boynton Beach Democrat, offered a tantalizing hint toward the end of a recent workshop by the Senate’s Regulated Industries Committee. Addressing Jim Allen, the CEO of Seminole Gaming, Sen. Abruzzo said: “In looking at this and all the moving parts and how difficult this issue is, we hear…

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