Wednesday's Daily Pulse
What you need to know about Florida today
Florida's contractors are raising wages and offering benefits to help retain and attract construction workers, The Associated General Contractors of America reported Tuesday. Florida contractors said in the survey that they're having the most trouble finding project managers and craft workers including pipe fitters and welders and masons. More at the South Florida Sun-Sentinel and the Tampa Bay Times.
Charlie Danger is still an evangelist. He preaches tolerance and compassion. He believes in a benevolent government, where dull regulations have the power for good and desk jockeys can make people’s problems go away. When he retires Friday, County Hall will lose one of its last remaining old-school bureaucrats, the kind of undisputed expert who tells it like it is. [Source: Miami Herald]
Florida has been ordered to offer kosher food to its inmates following a test case brought by the US Department of Justice. Despite having a significant Jewish community and the country's third largest prison population, the state stopped offering kosher food or catering to other religious dietary requirements on grounds of cost in 2007. [Source: The Telegraph]
Florida's economy on several fronts is improving faster than in other states, but Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam says that the lack of a statewide water policy and the threat of the greening disease to citrus could hamper that. [Source: Lakeland Ledger]
Six same-sex couples on Tuesday sued Miami-Dade County for the right to marry in Florida, once again thrusting the Sunshine State into the national gay-rights spotlight. “We are proud to stand here on this historic day,” said Nadine Smith, CEO of Equality Florida, the state’s leading gay-rights group. More from the Miami Herald and the Tampa Bay Times.
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› Does Lauderdale library's 'brutal' design make it a landmark?
It's not often you can use the word brutal to describe how a building looks and have it be considered a good thing. But that's precisely how to assess the Broward County Main Library, the work of an internationally acclaimed team steeped in the Brutalist style of architecture.
› Governor, Cabinet set to approve buying agricultural land
Last year, the Legislature set aside $11.5 million to target agricultural land with a type of purchase that allows farmers and ranchers to stay on land that Florida panthers may roam one day. To get the buying underway as soon as next month, Scott and Cabinet members must sign off on 16 potential properties, including four in Central Florida.
› Gale Butler, icon in local philanthropy, retires from AutoNation
For decades, Gale Butler has served as the face in the community for Fort Lauderdale's corporate giants: first Blockbuster and then AutoNation — helping fund nonprofits and civic groups, serving on boards, mentoring youth and even performing with drag queens at a charity benefit.
› Jumbo home lending surges in South Florida
Jumbo mortgage lending grew rapidly in South Florida in 2012. Lenders originated 5,074 jumbo mortgages - or those for more than $417,000 - totaling $4.82 billion here in 2012.
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