Friday's Daily Pulse
What you need to know about Florida today
A surging stock market and rebounding home prices boosted Americans’ wealth to a record in the final three months of last year, though both trends have slowed so far in 2014. Household net worth jumped nearly $3 trillion during last year’s fourth quarter to $80.7 trillion. Stock and mutual fund portfolios gained nearly $1.7 trillion, or 9 percent. [Source: AP]
A substantial expansion of one of Florida's private school voucher programs is advancing in the state Legislature. A House panel on Thursday voted for a bill that would increase which students would be eligible for the program, as well as make more money available for the private schools that accept the vouchers. [Source: AP]
Medical marijuana enjoys broad backing in Florida, with polls in the past year indicating that 65 to 70 percent of voters support the idea. But passing a constitutional amendment to legalize medical pot may not be the cakewalk that such numbers suggest. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]
It may sound like a good deal for some tech-savvy high-school students: take a programming course and then skip a required math, science or even physical-education class and still earn a diploma. But in an era when so many worry about sedentary, overweight kids, P.E. advocates have quickly denounced the proposal by Florida lawmakers. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]
Bucking a national trend, Tampa Bay, Miami and Orlando all posted a drop in overall consumer debt last year, according to a report from the consumer credit crunchers at Equifax. In fact, those metro areas, along with Las Vegas, were the only four among the top 25 where debt did not rise. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› Employees learn to lead in steps around company
Cross Country Home Services president Sandra Finn was a mere 23 years old when she was put in a leadership position, at a different company. "I made it up as I went along," said Finn, who has been president of Sunrise-based Cross Country for 13 years. Now she tops a list of Florida's women business leaders in 2013.
› Florida Supreme Court says Tampa immigrant can't get law license
In a long-anticipated decision, the Florida Supreme Court ruled Thursday that Tampa immigrant and FSU law school graduate Jose Godinez-Samperio cannot be admitted to the Florida Bar.
› Arnold Palmer Invitational drives new business to Central Florida
The seven-day annual event is a boon for Central Florida, bringing in more than $20 million in economic impact for the region and more than 120,000 attendees.
› Mormon church completes huge buy of land – now owns 2 percent of Florida land
The Mormon church through its subsidiaries now owns nearly 2 percent of Florida with the completion Thursday of a $562 million purchase of more than 382,000 acres in North Florida's Panhandle region.
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