Tuesday, June 19, 2018
Politics

5 surprising facts the fact-checkers learned about Florida

Every day, PolitiFact Florida researches claims by candidates and elected officials to sort fact from fiction for voters.

In fact-checking the 2018 governor’s race and Gov. Rick Scott, we’ve collected heaps of information about Florida and the rest of the country. There’s some good news, and some not-so-great news.

(If you know of a trivia night where these facts would earn us the top prize, please let us know.)

1. Florida has a nursing shortage.

Our need for nurses might not come as a surprise considering Florida’s aging population. But data from the Department of Economic Opportunity shows registered nurses have consistently topped the lists of monthly online job advertisements and annual job openings in Florida since 2007. In recent years, the shortage has been exacerbated by a lack of students studying to become nurses, a shortage of faculty teaching future students, and an aging workforce and state population.

2. Florida’s stormwater infrastructure is in bad shape.

Every four years since 2008, the Florida Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers has issued a report card outlining the condition of Florida’s infrastructure.In 2016, Florida’s coastal and stormwater infrastructure received D-plus and D ratings.

What does that mean? The infrastructure is in poor to fair condition, below standards and not prepared to handle climate change.

"It might be too late for the next hurricane but the sooner we start the more we could prevent damage in the future," said Dave Randle, University of South Florida director of sustainable tourism.

3. The rate of insured children has jumped substantially in recent years.

The rate of uninsured children in Florida dropped from 14.8 percent in 2009 to 6.2 percent in 2016, according to a September 2017 Georgetown Health Policy Institute Center for Children and Families study. That’s a reduction from 601,000 uninsured children to 257,000.

The report says Florida’s progress is a result of improvements for children through Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program and gives credit to the Affordable Care Act signed by President Barack Obama.

Still, Florida lags behind the national rate of uninsured children, which was 4.5 percent in 2016.

4. Florida is the only place to tax commercial leases.

And Republican Gov. Rick Scott is none too happy about it.

Other states and municipalities have similar taxes, but none of them are comprehensive sales taxes like Florida’s 6 percent sales tax on the total rent paid for any commercial property, including storefronts, offices and warehouses.

Scott has tried unsuccessfully for years to phase out this tax. But the Legislature has not gone along with a complete cut, settling this year for a .02 percent reduction that goes into effect Jan. 1, 2018.

5. Hispanic entrepreneurs are opening a lot of businesses.

Whether looking at just Hispanic immigrants or Hispanic entrepreneurs, Hispanic-owned businesses are popping up faster than white non-Hispanic demographics in Florida and across the country.

By using data from the Census Bureau’s 2015 American Survey of Entrepreneurs, PolitiFact Florida the Hispanic growth rate for businesses from 2014 to 2015 was more than three times the growth rate for non-Hispanic white businesses opened by men and women.

Comments
Trump, GOP to huddle as outrage builds over border policy

Trump, GOP to huddle as outrage builds over border policy

WASHINGTON (AP) — Calls are mounting on Capitol Hill for the Trump administration to end the separation of families at the southern border ahead of a visit from President Donald Trump to discuss legislation.Trump’s meeting late Tuesday afternoon with...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Another detention center for immigrant children planned for Houston

Another detention center for immigrant children planned for Houston

Another facility intended for detaining undocumented children is reportedly in the works for Houston as the number of children separated from their parents at the border continues to swell.Southwest Key Programs, the same contractor that operates the...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Muralist working with huge St. Pete ‘canvas’ to create neighborhood eye-grabber

Muralist working with huge St. Pete ‘canvas’ to create neighborhood eye-grabber

ST. PETERSBURG — They appear to rise out of nowhere — two enormous, reclaimed-water tanks with an artist’s white clouds scudding across a blue background.A closer view reveals silhouettes of a lone coyote howling at the sky, mangrove islands, oak, cy...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Romano: A Tampa Bay ‘superstar’ caught in the crosshairs of Trump’s border policy

Romano: A Tampa Bay ‘superstar’ caught in the crosshairs of Trump’s border policy

At this moment, she is Tampa Bay’s most influential export. A smart, accomplished and powerful attorney making life-altering decisions on an international stage.But what of tomorrow? And the day after?When the story of President Donald Trump’s border...
Updated: 5 hours ago
FBI agent removed from Russia probe for anti-Trump texts says he’s willing to testify before Congress

FBI agent removed from Russia probe for anti-Trump texts says he’s willing to testify before Congress

The FBI agent who was removed from the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election for sending anti-Trump texts intends to testify before the House Judiciary Committee and any other congressional committee that asks, his attorney sai...
Published: 06/17/18
Erosion of immigrant protections began with Trump inaugural

Erosion of immigrant protections began with Trump inaugural

The Trump administration’s move to separate immigrant parents from their children on the U.S.-Mexico border has grabbed attention around the world, drawn scorn from human-rights organizations and overtaken the immigration debate in Congress.It’s also...
Published: 06/17/18

Pasco Political Notebook

Perenich to ‘Walk the District’Stephen Perenich, Democratic candidate for U.S. House of Representatives, Florida District 12, will be "Walking the District" June 25-29. Perenich will be walking 55 miles in five days, starting in Dade City and heading...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18
GOP lawmakers decry family separations as WH defends policy

GOP lawmakers decry family separations as WH defends policy

WASHINGTON — Congressional Republicans distanced themselves Thursday from the Trump administration’s aggressive policy of separating children from their parents at the southern border even as the White House cited the Bible in defending its "zero tol...
Published: 06/14/18
Sarah Sanders and  Raj Shah are planning to step down, per CBS report

Sarah Sanders and Raj Shah are planning to step down, per CBS report

Press secretary Sarah Sanders and principal deputy press secretary Raj Shah are considering stepping down, according to a CBS report. Sanders promptly responded in a Tweet saying, "I love my job and am honored to work for @POTUS." Does @CBSNews k...
Published: 06/13/18
Updated: 06/14/18
Fed raises key rate and sees possible acceleration in hikes

Fed raises key rate and sees possible acceleration in hikes

WASHINGTON — The Federal Reserve has raised its benchmark interest rate for the second time this year and signaled that it may step up its pace of rate increases because of solid economic growth and rising inflation. The Fed now foresees four rate hi...
Published: 06/13/18