Monday's Daily Pulse
What you need to know about Florida today
Battle looms over Florida goals for conserving electricity
A range of technologies new and old — solar power, highly efficient appliances, thicker insulation — threaten utility company profits. Over the last 10 years, per capita electricity use in Florida fell nearly 12 percent. The recession played a role, but now, even as Florida's economy and population are growing again, power demand is not. More from the Orlando Sentinel and the Tampa Bay Times.
Florida jury awards record $23 billion against RJ Reynolds
A Florida jury has awarded the widow of a chain smoker who died of lung cancer 18 years ago record punitive damages of more than $23 billion in her lawsuit against the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, the nation's second-biggest cigarette maker. The judgment was the largest in Florida history in a wrongful death lawsuit filed by a single plaintiff, Chris Chestnut. The case is one of thousands filed in Florida after the state Supreme Court in 2006 tossed out a $145 billion class action verdict. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]
More than $200 million in outside money has poured into Florida elections since a landmark 2010 U.S. Supreme Court decision, bombarding voters with ads, weakening control candidates have over their own messages and pitting free speech rights against increasing secrecy. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]
Doctors under the supervision of Community Health of South Florida, Inc. are the first in Florida to be accepted into residencies as a result of a provision in the Affordable Care Act that establishes grants for the training of primary-care physicians. The aim is to address a severe shortage of such doctors nationwide [Source: Miami Herald]
The National Park Service released a report that says spending on hotels, restaurants, gas and supplies by visitors to U.S. national parks in 2013 contributed $14.6 billion in economic benefits to communities within 60 miles of the parks nationwide. [Source: AP]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› Florida's space agency launches new pitch for commercial rockets
In the war between the states for the emerging commercial-rocket-launch industry, Florida is scrambling to regain momentum after a key rival — Texas — has all but secured victory in a major battle.
› Medical marijuana: Florida’s new business boom
Some of Florida’s most established nurseries contemplate adding medical marijuana, Florida’s newest crop, as the state begins creating industry regulations. [Source: Miami Herald]
See a comprehensive report on Medical Marijuana from the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.
See also: » Medical pot could bring Fla. tax revenue windfall
› Jacksonville earns high marks for small business environment
When it comes to small business, Jacksonville is among the country’s best cities to develop companies with few employees.
› Employers hiring, reinvesting in real estate
More than 60 percent of business leaders plan to hire full-time workers in the next six to 12 months, according to a report by the Greater Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce's Council of Economic Advisors.
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