State Roundup: New York, Florida, and Massachusetts

May 1, 2006

Florida: Fast-track growth.

What’s the fastest-growing county in the United States? For the second year in a row, it’s Flagler County, Fla., on the coast north of Daytona Beach, says the U.S. Census Bureau. The county’s population has grown 53 percent since the 2000 Census and 10.78 percent in the 12 months ending July 2005 and now stands at 76,410. Like many of the fastest-growing counties, Flagler is in the South and on a suburban fringe of a major metropolitan area.

Massachusetts: Eye on insurance.

Faced with declining availability and affordability of homeowners insurance, especially in popular coastal areas like Cape Cod, the Massachusetts Association of REALTORS® met with state Insurance Commissioner Julianne Bowler in March to explore remedies. While continuing to look at the problem, the association is planning an educational brochure practitioners can give their customers encouraging them to “allow plenty of time to get a policy in place when buying a new home,” says General Counsel Stephen Ryan. “We’re hoping to create a productive dialogue with consumers.” A release date isn’t yet pinned down.

New York: No educational parity.

Although you might think that communities flush with property wealth invest more in education, a study by The Brookings Institution has found the financial condition of upstate schools fairly equitable across rich and poor areas. Despite this financial parity, the students’ performance in poorer urban and rural communities falls behind that of their suburban peers. Financial parity, the study suggests, is insufficient to help underperforming schools improve.

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