business and development

Sign with the words "now hiring" stands in the grass near a street.
Free To Use Sounds/Unsplash

Update: 

Sen. Joe Gruters (R-Sarasota) and Rep. Cord Byrd (R-Jacksonville Beach) have filed compromise bills that would require public employers - not private - to use E-Verify for potential hires.

Original Story: 

Florida lawmakers banned sanctuary cities for undocumented immigrants last year. Now, Governor Ron DeSantis wants all employers to use the federal E-Verify system to make sure their workers are legally eligible to work in the United States.

Previous efforts requiring private employers to use E-Verify have failed in Florida, and Republican lawmakers are trying again.

One man has his back to the viewer. In front of him are four giant computer screens. Behind him is another man with a pencil in his mouth. This man is looking at a computer as well.
Richard Drew / AP Photo

The Florida Chamber of Commerce’s Chief Economist says there’s a low chance of a recession this year. However, that doesn’t mean it will be smooth sailing.

Man in suit is surrounded by women and men in t-shirts
Lynne Sladky / AP Photo

Under a new bill, counties and cities could require employers to give workers benefits like sick pay.

Tom Flanigan

It’s been just over two years since Tallahassee’s YMCA closed amidst massive money problems. But now  reports, the organization is looking to re-establish a Capital City presence.

Ryan Dailey / WFSU-FM

A new bar is set to open in Downtown Tallahassee in a very old building. Bar 1903’s concept involves giving an homage to the history of a long-standing library building. Behind it is the team that opened craft cocktail mainstay Liberty Bar in 2014.

A map of North Florida criss-crossed by black, red and blue lines showing highways
Florida Department of Transportation / https://floridamcores.com/

Three new toll roads planned for the state are supposedly coming with millions of dollars to upgrade city and county septic and sewer systems. But there’s little information on when and how the money will be distributed and who will be responsible for the work. 

Leon County officials are taking a wait and see approach when it comes to making more rules for adult stores.

House rests in middle of frame. Two sidewalks merge in front of the door. Trees and clouds.
Banter Snaps / Unsplash

When someone dies without a will, their land goes to family. But it can lead to some sticky situations. A group of Democratic lawmakers is looking into the issue.

Auto mechanic changing car glass in garage
industrieblick / Adobe Stock

A bill to limit litigation tied to auto glass repairs died in committee Tuesday. The unexpected failure caught insurance watchers by surprise but one key lawmaker says the issue isn’t dead yet.

A map of North Florida criss-crossed by black, red and blue lines showing highways
Florida Department of Transportation / https://floridamcores.com/

Are they an innovative approach to the state’s future transportation needs or an environmental and economic road to nowhere? Florida lawmakers approved the creation of three new toll roads during the last legislative session, but opposition from environmentalists, small business owners and local officials is growing.

lots of people crowd the street
Tom Flanigan / WFSU-FM

If you’re wanting to travel this Saturday, expect road closures in Tallahassee. The city’s annual Winter Festival will be taking over. 

Tom Flanigan

For more than 50 years people in North Florida and South Georgia have eagerly awaited the annual Market Days, held in the weeks before the year-end holidays. The two-day event, benefiting the Tallahassee Museum, happens this coming weekend.

Jefferson County residents are opposed to a planned toll road that would run through the county and into Georgia. The road is part of three Florida lawmakers approved earlier this year. 

Trey Price sits at a table with a notebook and microphone in front of him. He heads the Florida Housing Finance Corporation. It was created by the state Legislature more than 30 years ago to help provide affordable housing opportunities.
Florida Housing

Governor Ron DeSantis’ proposed state budget would fully fund Florida’s two affordable housing programs. He is recommending that all $387 million be used for housing needs.

The Florida Legislature created the affordable housing programs in 1992 by raising the documentary stamp tax on real estate transactions.

The money is supposed to be split between two programs, but it often gets sent elsewhere.

workers in neon colored vests walk along a dirt path. One worker is handling a frame.
Gulf Power Company

Gulf Power has completed the first of 300,000 panels for a new solar energy center in Jackson County. 

Visit Florida / http://www.visitflorida.com/en-us.html

Visit Florida has posted its third quarter tourism numbers, and some in the industry are calling a slowdown in visitor growth “jarring.” The state tourism agency says 31.6 million people visited the state between July and September – 28.6 million were coming from other states, 2.6 million from overseas and just under a half million from Canada.

A group of smiling people stand beside a sign reading, "suntrax." Clouds are above the group. The American and Florida Flags wave behind the sign. In the background is a white building.
SunTrax

Construction is underway for a new autonomous-vehicle test site in Florida. The Florida Department of Transportation is teaming up with Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise to build the facility. 

A pine tree that fell due to Hurricane Michael with an artificial cavity insert for Red-Cockaded Woodpeckers at Tall Timbers.
Eleanor Clark / WFSU-FM

Florida is the first state to receive block grants for the timber industry from the United States Department of Agriculture.

Two very damaged houses on stilts with smashed in roofs
Erich Martin

Florida’s Director of Emergency Management says finding local money to match federal funds is one of the biggest issues facing communities after Hurricane Michael.

Florida’s tourism and marketing agency has powerful supporters the state senate Now one of its committee has backed a bill keeping the agency around for the next eight years. But Visit Florida’s survival largely depends on the house.

Ryan Dailey / WFSU-FM

Florida Forest Service director Jim Karels  says there’s a good chance state block grants will be approved to help North Florida’s ailing timber industry. The subject-specific grants have never been given out for timber anywhere in the nation by the United States Department of Agriculture.

Brittany Jarret

October is a busy month for the city of Tallahassee and local businesses. Florida State and Florida A&M University’s Homecoming weeks are two main reasons why. Although FAMU’s Homecoming has recently passed, the season is not over as FSU’s Homecoming is here. 

Tallahassee City Commissioners and MetroNet officials posing for a picture.
Blaise Gainey / WFSU-FM

WiFi speeds in Tallahassee could soon get a boost. MetroNet is spending $75 million dollars to install fiber optic technology to provide Internet, TV and more in the capital city.

Valerie Crowder

Hundreds gathered in Mexico Beach on Thursday to celebrate the community’s resiliency one year after Hurricane Michael decimated the small coastal town. 

lines of downed trees as seen from above
Gerald Herbert / AP Photo

Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried says hemp farming in the Panhandle could bring relief from the billion and a half dollar hit to the region’s timber industry. She joined WFSU’s special Perspectives program this week, broadcast from Mexico Beach, on the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Michael that left millions of acres damaged.

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