Thursday's Daily Pulse
What you need to know about Florida today
Most Floridians living in poverty have families, and the situation has been made worse by an 11 percent decline in incomes during the downturn. The findings by a research group at Florida International University conclude that poverty in the Sunshine State disproportionately affects African-American and Latino residents. About 23 percent of Florida’s 18 million residents live in what the federal government considers poverty or “near poverty,” defined as earning $14,000 or less. [Source: Miami Herald]
On Wednesday, Florida lawmakers sent legislation to the governor that eliminates political slush funds and imposes new ethics rules for elected officials across the state. But one of the measures raises limits on campaign contributions, which Gov. Scott has been reluctant to embrace while his own session priorities remain in peril. There will be pressure on Scott to sign or veto both the campaign finance bill, HB 569, and the ethics bill, SB 2, before the session ends May 3. [Source: Miami Herald]
President Barack Obama and members of Congress have touted a law that makes crowdfunding, a method of soliciting money over the Internet, as a way for startups and other small companies to raise money and create jobs. But small businesses looking for a windfall of investor money from crowdfunding may find that it's more of a bust. [Source: AP]
Florida drivers face a dizzying array of specialty license plates to choose from — 120 designs to be exact with at least three more under review in the Legislature. The growing number of plates — Florida issued its first specialty plate in 1986 — has prompted the future senate president to wonder if priorities are being misplaced. [Source: Fort Myers News-Press]
Immigrant workers who are eligible to become U.S. citizens have something to smile about: their employers may be willing to help them through the naturalization process. Tuesday, the National Immigration Forum launched a nationwide initiative at Miami Dade College to encourage businesses to help their immigrant employees become citizens. [Source: Miami Herald]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› Northrop Grumman's Melbourne expansion to create 2,500 jobs
When all is said and done, Northrop Grumman Corp.’s planned expansion in Melbourne will lead to the creation of 2,522 jobs, according to a just-released analysis by the Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast.
› Forbes: Jacksonville third-best city in the country for finding a job
Forbes Magazine has put out another list with Jacksonville looking pretty good. This one lists the 10 best cities in the country for finding employment. Using data from Adecco Staffing U.S., the magazine has Bethesda, Md., at No. 1, followed by Austin, Texas, and then at No. 3: Jacksonville.
› It's full steam ahead on plans for new train service
A new privately financed passenger rail service between Miami and Orlando is still on track, although the start up may be delayed about a year until the end of 2015.
› Mobiquity to expand to Gainesville, create 260 jobs
Mobiquity, a Boston-area mobile app developer, announced Wednesday that it chose Gainesville for its expansion plans and expects to create 260 jobs over the next three years.
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