Thursday's Daily Pulse
What you need to know about Florida today
Consumer spending in Florida grew 5.8 percent from last year, according to first-quarter data released Wednesday by Coral Gables-based Washington Economics Group. The moderate growth is a sign of a sustainable economic recovery led by tourism and investment spending, said Tony Villamil, founder and principal of the group. [Source: Miami Herald]
The House Appropriations Committee on Wednesday unanimously passed a spending bill for the fiscal year that begins in October, including $65.5 million for Everglades restoration projects and $41 million to be divided nationwide for beach re-nourishment. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]
The good news is that the FCAT — the high-stakes test that promised to hold Florida schools more accountable for teaching our kids — is about to be replaced with a better test. But as the FCAT exits stage left after 16 years, its final report card shows only about 60 percent of students passed its math, reading and science exams. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]
Barbecue forks and spatulas with deer horns for handles. That’s when you know it’s a silent auction with a difference. The silent auction is one of the big attractions at the annual Florida Cattlemen’s Association convention, which takes place each June at the Marriott resort on Marco. [Source: Marco Island Sun Times]
The majority of Florida residents who signed up for coverage under President Barack Obama's health care law are paying $100 or less a month in premiums on average, the administration reported Wednesday. [Source: CBS Miami]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› Brandon ranks No. 10 best American city for working women
Brandon sits at the No. 10 spot thanks to women earning more than 93 percent as much as men, and its roughly 11 percent increase in population between the years of 2009 and 2012.
› South Florida to make strong push for 2019 Super Bowl
With the modernization of Sun Life Stadium ready to proceed, South Florida's Super Bowl officials are eager to make a strong push for the next available NFL championship showcase.
› Florida Gov. OKs new Alzheimer's program
Florida is going to set up a new Alzheimer's disease research program. Gov. Rick Scott on Wednesday signed into a law a bill (HB 709) that creates a program to fund projects aimed at preventing or finding a cure for Alzheimer's disease.
› Quest Diagnostics plans to hire 350 at new Tampa hub
The project — roughly double the number of jobs that state officials initially expected — marks a major coup in an ongoing drive to make the bay area, in particular Hillsborough County, a cluster for higher-paying jobs in life sciences.
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