Monday's Daily Pulse
What you need to know about Florida today
A flurry of bills moving swiftly through the House and Senate are seeking to expand virtual education, both in the public-school system and in higher education. One would enable out-of-state online education providers to qualify for public education dollars. Another would require Florida’s top public university to set up a virtual branch. More from the Times/Herald and TBO.com.
Featured today, an in-depth look at the economy in each of these regions:
» Northeast Florida:
About a decade ago, Florida leaders watched as prescription drugs began to wreak havoc across the country. Prescription drugs began to kill thousands of Floridians, thousands of babies were born addicted to drugs, and Florida doctors became the most prevalent buyers in the nation of the highly abused painkiller oxycodone. Today, the picture is vastly different. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]
If you want to create policies that promote women's labor-force participation without curbing their career achievements, you also have to address why family-friendly policies (parental leave, flex work, telecommuting, etc.) aren't being used by men. [Source: New York Times]
It isn't supposed to be this way. After a recession, an improving economy is supposed to bring people back into the job market. Instead, the number of Americans in the labor force - those who have a job or are looking for one - fell by nearly half a million people from February to March, the government said Friday. [Source: AP]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› Gun-show loophole laws on the books in Florida, but ignored
Law enforcement officials, government attorneys and gun-show organizers say the ordinances are ignored in the seven counties — encompassing almost half of Florida's population — that currently have them.
› Real estate boomlet in Southwest Florida ignites debate
The boomlet in Southwest Florida's housing market over the past year has been so vast that it is raising "B-word" questions again — as in "bubble."
› In inland Florida, some towns are stagnant or even shrinking
A University of Florida research group estimates that Palatka lost 355 residents in the two years after the 2010 census, down to 10,203 people. The city’s smaller, even, than it was more than 50 years ago. Palatka is hardly alone in that dilemma. As cities continue to grow, as suburbs and far-flung exurbs grow, the population of many small cities and towns across Florida remains stagnant.
› The environmental effects of suburbia
Every day, thousands of homeowners and landscapers violate state fertilizer and stormwater ordinances designed to protect Florida's water by overfertilizing, overwatering and blowing grass clippings down stormwater drains. As a result, experts say the state has seen an increase in polluted stormwater runoff, stifled marine life and contaminated drinking water.
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