Tag: Florida

Comcast drops the ball on Big 10 sports: your say
Welfare

Comcast drops the ball on Big 10 sports: your say

They need to feel the power of the Big 10 fans to force Comcast to reopen programming negotiations.
The SEC could be next.
Michael KIngery, Fort Myers Cacioppi’s ‘final curtain’ unfair I have known Robert Cacioppi since 1991.
Bob did in fact build the foundation of a theater which has become a gem of the arts community here.
Anyone who now chooses to turn their backs on Florida Rep and withdraw their support are being disrespectful to all of the people who have given so much to grow this organization.
He also says it “took 15 months for Trump to become “part of the swamp”.
Trump went in with a swamp agenda that surpasses anything we have had in years.
Trump has let him down.
And P.S., I can’t wait for Walker to get old enough to need social programs that, if Trump succeeds, are not there.
Robert J. O’Hare, Estero

Guest editorial: Sabotaging the census — a question of citizenship
Welfare

Guest editorial: Sabotaging the census — a question of citizenship

In normal times, there might be nothing wrong with the 2020 Census asking whether people are U.S. citizens.
His deportations also are dispatching people to countries they no longer recognize and leaving their American-born children missing one parent or both.
The Trump administration’s decision to add a citizenship question to the census guarantees undercounts that will skew federal funding formulas and political redistricting.
Florida did not join the lawsuit.
It bears remembering that many undocumented immigrants are parents of children who are citizens, having been born here.
If the parent is afraid to cooperate with the census, those children won’t be counted, either.
That, in turn, will hurt states like Florida that have higher-than-average percentages of undocumented immigrants.
A trial run last year turned up worrisome accounts of people refusing to cooperate with census takers, despite a law that says they must.
The administration says it needs to know where people are eligible to vote, and in what numbers, so that it can protect minority voting rights.
But the law provides a $100 fine for refusing to answer “any of the questions.” An accurate census is so fundamental to a republican form of government that it’s the only federal program mandated in the Constitution.

Employment Falls In September After Hurricanes Harvey And Irma Undercut Economic Activity
Unemployment

Employment Falls In September After Hurricanes Harvey And Irma Undercut Economic Activity

WASHINGTON, Oct 6 (Reuters) – U.S. employment fell in September for the first time in seven years as Hurricanes Harvey and Irma left displaced workers temporarily unemployed and delayed hiring, the latest indication that the storms undercut economic activity in the third quarter.
The drop in payrolls was the first since September 2010.
The Department said Harvey and Irma, which wreaked havoc in Texas and Florida in late August and early September, had reduced “the estimate of total nonfarm payroll employment for September.” Economists polled by Reuters had forecast payrolls increasing by 90,000 jobs last month.
Leisure and hospitality payrolls dived 111,000, the most since records started in 1939, after being unchanged in August.
Harvey and Irma did not have an impact on the unemployment rate, which fell two-tenths of a percentage point to 4.2 percent, the lowest since February 2001.
It showed 1.5 million people stayed at home in September because of the bad weather, the most since January 1996.
About 2.9 million people worked part-time as a result of the bad weather.
With the hurricane-driven temporary unemployment concentrated in low paying industries like retail and leisure and hospitality, average hourly earnings increased 12 cents or 0.5 percent in September after rising 0.2 percent in August.
Annual wage growth of at least 3.0 percent is need to raise inflation to the Fed’s 2 percent target, analysts say The mixed employment report should not change views the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates in December.
Growth estimates for the July-September period are as low as a 1.8 percent annualized rate.

37 States That Don’t Tax Social Security Benefits
Social Security Disability

37 States That Don’t Tax Social Security Benefits

While the federal government does tax some of your benefits once your income reaches a certain level, the good news is that a lot of Americans live in states that won’t tax Social Security.
In fact, there are a total of 37 states where you can enjoy your Social Security benefits without paying state taxes on this important source of income.
Which states don’t tax Social Security benefits?
It’s important to consider all taxes you may have to pay as a retiree — including taxes for property, 401(k) and pension income, sales tax, gas taxes, and other state and local taxes — when you make a decision on where to live during your golden years.
You could still owe federal taxes on Social Security benefits If you live in a state that doesn’t tax your Social Security benefits, this doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll enjoy totally tax free income from Social Security.
Not all income counts when determining if you’re taxed.
But a handful of little-known “Social Security secrets” could help ensure a boost in your retirement income.
This Stock Could Be Like Buying Amazon in 1997 Imagine if you had bought Amazon in 1997… a $5,000 investment then would be worth almost $1 million today.
You can’t go back and buy Amazon 20 years ago… but we’ve uncovered what our analysts think is the next-best thing: A special stock with mind-boggling growth potential.
With hundreds of thousands of business customers already signed up, this stock has been described as “strikingly similar to an early Amazon.com.”

Insurer not off hook for claim over suspected worker intoxication
Welfare

Insurer not off hook for claim over suspected worker intoxication

A Florida appeals court ruled Friday that an insurer’s failure to meet the 120-day deadline to deny the compensability of an injury claim waived the insurer’s intoxicated-worker rights.
“We find no competent substantial evidence that the (employer/insurer) demonstrated material facts, relevant to the issue of compensability, which they could not have discovered through a reasonable investigation during the 120-day, pay-and-investigate period of the statute,” the Florida 1st District Court of Appeals ruling states.
On Aug. 22, 2015, an employee at Neptune Fish Market fell on the right side of his body while emptying garbage in the outside dumpster, later testifying he slipped on a piece of fish.
The owner was informed of the accident that day, but he never reported the accident to his workers compensation insurer, according to documents in Edward Paradise v. Neptune Fish Market/RetailFirst Insurance Co. After being taken by ambulance to a Veterans Administration hospital, which provides care for U.S. service veterans at low to no cost, the employee was diagnosed with a fractured right hip and eventually underwent surgery.
His recovery was complicated by repeated infection and he ultimately had five surgeries with the last resulting in removal of his right hip joint.
He was hospitalized almost continuously from the date of the accident through November 2016.
Nearly a year later, on May 12, 2016, the worker filed the first notice of the injury with the Fish Market’s insurer, which elected to pay and investigate under Florida’s 120-day rule.
That investigation ran from May 25, 2016, to Sept. 22, 2016, but the insurer did not file a notice denying compensability of the workplace injuries until Dec. 14, 2016, court records state.
In the notice of denial, the insurer asserted that no compensation was due because “claimant’s injuries were primarily occasioned by intoxication,” according to court documents.

Uber’s comp-style program could feed into worker classification dispute
Welfare

Uber’s comp-style program could feed into worker classification dispute

and OneBeacon Insurance Group, for workers who are injured on the job.
The program had been in development since 2015.
Uber used occupation accident insurance for the long-haul trucking industry as a model for its program, said Mr. Scott.
“It was pretty clear that the three basic benefits are medical expenses from an accident when you are working, income replacement when you can’t work because of the accident, and, in an unfortunate circumstance, death benefits.
That’s the core of it.
How can we take a data-driven approach and modernize this originally ’70s concept and apply it to the gig economy and solve a real-world problem?” Uber’s program is unique, and if other gig economy companies create similar coverage programs for workers who are independent contractors, experts say it may complicate future rulings for worker misclassification cases within the gig economy.
“They want the flexibility of taking on these gig jobs, but they hate the lack of benefits and the lack of security, and that’s what it comes down to.” “If they start down the path of providing this kind of insurance, they run afoul of the definition of an employee in Ohio, or probably any other state,” said Ms. Verchot.
Other legal experts disagree, saying that it is too early to tell what the outcome of a program like this will be.
It could be that a judge weighs that factor against a company, but we will not know until that issue is presented to a court.” Uber emphasizes that Driver Injury Protection is an optional insurance program that can be started or stopped by the driver after every trip, which is different from traditional programs that an employer would offer.
“These are independent contractors, and they need something that is designed for independent contractors, and that’s what Driver Injury Protection largely does, where workers compensation is a creation of state law and designed for employees.

Opinion: What Trump can do to prepare for the inevitable — a primary challenger
Unemployment

Opinion: What Trump can do to prepare for the inevitable — a primary challenger

The first advice for Trump comes not from me, but from supporters that I have spoken with during travels around the country in the last year.
The president tweets about these things, but for every one tweet about the economy, there seem to be two or three screaming “NO COLLUSION!” Twitter Trump is hurting President Trump, yet Trump insists on being unrestrained.
President Obama lost 22 states in 2008 and even more—24—when he was re-elected in 2012.
Yet he visited all 50 states during his eight years in office.
Trump sticks mostly to red states (the dozens of visits to his golf clubs in blue states Virginia and New Jersey don’t count).
He’s missing opportunities to visit, say, small companies that are benefiting from his tax cuts.
Trump likes to stick it to his rivals.
For all the talk about how much TV he watches, Trump also spends a lot of time on the phone with friends.
There’s one other thing Trump can do to bolster his position for 2020: make sure Republicans hang onto the House this year.
But that’s looking more difficult by the day, and the wave of GOP retirements I mentioned earlier should be considered, for Trump, an ominous sign.

President Trump Pledges to Address School Safety, Without Mentioning Gun Control
Welfare

President Trump Pledges to Address School Safety, Without Mentioning Gun Control

(WASHINGTON) — Declaring the nation united and grieving with “one heavy heart,” President Donald Trump is promising to tackle school safety and “the difficult issue of mental health” in response to the deadly shooting in Florida.
Not always a natural in the role of national comforter, Trump spoke deliberately Thursday, at one point directly addressing children who may feel “lost, alone, confused or even scared.” “I want you to know that you are never alone and you never will be,” Trump said.
“You have people who care about you, who love you, and who will do anything at all to protect you.” While Trump stressed the importance of mental health and school safety improvements, his latest budget request would slash Medicaid, the major source of federal funding for treating mental health problems, and cut school safety programs by more than a third.
The president spoke to the nation from the White House, one day after a former student with an AR-15 rifle opened fire at a high school in Parkland, Florida, killing 17 people and injuring 14 more.
Trump made no specific policy recommendations, and he did not answer shouted questions about guns as he exited the room.
The leader of a white nationalist militia called the Republic of Florida said Cruz was a member of his group and had participated in exercises in Tallahassee.
One option was to have chief of staff John Kelly, who has come under intense pressure for his handling of the Porter matter, be part of the briefing, according to two White House officials not authorized to publicly discuss internal deliberations.
Once the magnitude of the Florida tragedy became clear, the White House canceled the briefing.
The president tweeted his condolences and the White House deliberated its next move.
Kelly was not in the room when Trump addressed the nation on Thursday morning, and his job security remained an open question.

Donald Trump Blamed the Florida School Shooting on Mental Illness. Here’s What He’s Done on the Issue
Welfare

Donald Trump Blamed the Florida School Shooting on Mental Illness. Here’s What He’s Done on the Issue

President Donald Trump appeared to blame the Florida school shooting Wednesday on mental illness and promised to take action, although he did not give specifics.
In remarks from the White House, Trump said that he was “committed to working with state and local leaders to help secure our schools, and tackle the difficult issue of mental health.” Earlier in the day, he posted to Twitter calling alleged shooter Nikolas Cruz “mentally disturbed.” Mental health advocates give the Trump Administration a mixed report card on mental health issues so far, however.
Trump has offered some support to mental health programs, including a proposal in his budget to spend $10 billion to address “opioids and serious mental illness.” That includes funding for block grants to allow states to address mental illness and new support for mental health measures supported by the medical community.
Read More: Transcript of Donald Trump’s Remarks on Florida School Shooting But mental health policy experts say those proposals are a small piece of the puzzle and do not reflect the challenge Trump’s broader agenda could pose to mental health in the U.S. Perhaps most significantly, Trump has proposed cutting Medicaid subsidies by more than $1 trillion.
More than 25% of non-elderly adults with severe mental illness received medical coverage through Medicaid in 2015, according to a report from the Kaiser Family Foundation.
The administration has also called for cuts to funding for housing programs, which often help those with mental illnesses.
“We really need to look at the big picture,” says Ron Honberg, senior policy advisor at National Alliance on Mental Illness.
In the early weeks of his presidency, he signed the repeal of an Obama rule that blocked gun sales to people determined to be “mentally incapable.” The response to the shooting in Florida isn’t the first time Trump has shifted to talking about mental health in the face of mass violence.
“I think that mental health is your problem here,” Trump said after a mass shooting in Texas that killed 26 people last November.
“Using mental illness as a political football in the aftermath of tragedies — it hurts,” says Honberg.

The economy added 200,000 jobs in January
Unemployment

The economy added 200,000 jobs in January

“Minimum-wage increases go into effect in January,” Bahn said.
Trump had also claimed credit for declining unemployment among African Americans, noting in his State of the Union address it had reached the “lowest levels in history.” The decline appears to have hit a bump.
The unemployment rate among African Americans went to 7.7 percent in January, up from 6.8 percent in December.
Black unemployment had been declining steadily from a high of 15.5 percent in 2010.
“The declining trend in unemployment overall and among African Americans is something President Trump inherited,” she said.
Other factors beyond federal policy influence job growth, including the business cycle, consumer confidence and international economic conditions.
The January jobs figure will be revised twice in coming months after the initial estimate is released.
In Friday’s report, federal economists slightly adjusted their December estimate, now saying 160,000 jobs were added rather than their initial estimate of 148,000.
They also released a final estimate for November, revising it down to 216,000 from a previous figure of 252,000.
The figures have a margin for error of about 100,000 in either direction, another reason economists advocate looking at longer-term averages over single month reports.