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Office of Economic and Demographic Research

Lawmakers likely to face tough budget

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A key economist offered a sobering message Friday to state lawmakers: Forget having extra cash for next year’s budget. A long-range financial analysis projected that lawmakers would have a relatively slim $52 million surplus as they put together the 2018-2019 budget. But that was before Hurricane Irma blew through the state early this week.

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Jeremy Stewart: Overregulation, not elections, slows Florida housing market recovery

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Florida’s current economic and regulatory environment work against a speedy recovery from the housing depression. To echo the statement made by Florida Office of Economic and Demographic Research Coordinator Amy Baker during the National Economic Estimating Conference Nov. 14, Florida’s economy is heavily dependent on construction making a comeback, which seems slow in its revival. Many credit the presidential election for continuing to weaken the homebuilding market, making housing forecasts for 2017 relatively indeterminable. However, obstacles to increase the construction industry has…

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Florida sees greatest annual increase in population since 2006

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Florida is going through a growth spurt. The Sunshine State’s population grew by 333,471 between April 1, 2015 and April 1, 2016. That marks the greatest annual increase in residents since 2006, according to a report by the Office of Economic and Demographic Research. The state’s population was more than 20.1 million as of April 1. The estimate is slightly lower than a recent estimate from the U.S. Census Bureau, which reported Florida’s population was about 20.2 million as of…

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Bright Futures renewals decline, scholarships could drop 20 percent

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Fewer than two out of every 10 Florida high school graduates qualify for a Bright Futures scholarship that helps pay their tuition and fees at state universities and colleges. New data, being reviewed by the Legislature’s Office of Economic and Demographic Research, shows that the number may be improving, with an initial projection suggesting it could rise from 13.8 percent of graduates in the most recent school year to 17.5 percent in the 2016-17 academic year. At the same time,…

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Brexit brings slight chill in state economic forecast

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Brexit has caused state economists to shift their forecast for the national economy slightly downward. “Generally, the forecast is weaker than when we met in December,” said Amy Baker, director of the Legislature’s Office of Economic and Demographic Research. Baker said Britain’s decision last month to leave the European Union was “a big piece” of the adjustment, but she said it came on top of other indicators before the vote.  “The trend was softening anyway but with Brexit, they made…

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Don Gaetz outlines Senate health care proposals during Commission on Healthcare and Hospital Funding meeting

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Sen. Don Gaetz used his appearance before the Commission on Healthcare and Hospital Funding to outline several health care proposals before the state Legislature during the 2016 session. The Niceville Republican also used his appearance to remind members of Gov. Rick Scott’s commission that all recommendations are subject to an objective, nonpolitical analysis. “When it comes to estimating whether ho much a proposed policy will affect cost, everyone is entitled to his opinion, but not everyone is entitled to his own set of facts,” said Gaetz.…

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State economists say “Smart Solar” amendment unlikely to have fiscal impact

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A panel of state economists and analysts estimated Monday one of two dueling ballot initiatives dealing with solar energy voters may consider on the November 2016 elections will not have any impact on state spending should it pass. The Financial Impact Estimating Conference, a slate of economists for the Legislature and executive branch, held a workshop in Tallahassee to hear from principals representing the group supporting the amendment – a group calling itself Consumers for Smart Solar – and to make changes…

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