State budget analysts expect economic growth in Fla. but have concerns

Florida’s economy continues to grow, but not at the pace state budget forecasters expected.  The slower-than-expected economic growth could affect tax revenue that feeds the state budget, which already promises increased costs next year for Medicaid and education. Budget analysts from the House, Senate and governor’s office gathered Friday for the State Economic Estimating Conference. Read full…

Associated Industries seeks public comment on workers’ comp rates

Associated Industries of Florida moved Tuesday to build public support behind a fix for rising workers’ compensation insurance rates that business interests see as a threat to the state’s economy.  The lobby solicited comments from the public “on how Florida can restore a stable, self-executing, and affordable workers’ compensation system as the Florida Legislature intended,”…

More out, less in: Altered assumptions push Florida’s pension debt up $2.6 billion

In a small, unassuming Capitol conference room last week, state pension officials made multi-billion-dollar tweaks to the Florida Retirement System’s 1.1 million-member pension plan.  The two-day conference concluded with revisions to key assumptions used to determine the value of the state pension fund. The result: another $2.6 billion in public debt. Read full article

Florida economists deliver sobering news: Money is tight

Florida economists delivered some sobering news Wednesday to state lawmakers: Money is tight.  Citing rising costs — especially in Medicaid spending where pharmaceutical costs have been climbing — economists forecast a $1.3 billion budget shortfall by 2018, when Gov. Rick Scott will be entering his final year as Florida’s chief executive. Read full article