Wednesday's Daily Pulse
What you need to know about Florida today
Florida’s biggest companies had a solid year in 2016
UM’s Florida 50 Stock Index, which tracks Florida firms in the S&P Composite 1500 Index, debuted in January and posted a gain of 11.5 percent this year. That means it beat the broader S&P 500 by 1.92 percent and the S&P 1500 by 0.81 percent.[Source: Miami Herald]
» Florida's Top Public Stocks
Investment firm buys Florida-based Valpak direct mail business
Valpak, one of the nation's largest direct mail companies, has been acquired by a California billionaire who is the owner of the NBA's Detroit Pistons. Tom Gores' global investment firm, Platinum Equity, announced Tuesday that it had acquired the businesses of Cox Target Media (CTM), Valpak's parent company. Valpak, best known for its blue envelopes stuffed with coupons mailed to millions of consumers, operates a $220-million printing facility in St. Petersburg, Florida. Statement from Platinum Equity, is here. Also read more at the Tampa Bay Times.
Florida schools seeking money for construction projects
Across the state, school officials will be competing for money for their construction projects in the upcoming legislative session. Florida Senate President Joe Negron, a Stuart Republican, says investing in higher education is a top priority, although borrowing to pay for capital projects will continue to face scrutiny from Gov. Rick Scott [Source: Orlando Sentinel]
Florida Lottery sets sales record, collecting $6.2 billion during 2016
The Florida Lottery surpassed $6.2 billion in sales during 2016, setting a record and improving on the previous year’s take by more than $411 million. The lottery’s contributions to Florida’s Educational Enhancement Trust Fund will equal $1.6 billion, 7 percent more than the year before. Full news release from the Lottery here.
Florida Republicans blast and defend attempt to gut ethics office
House Republicans, facing a fierce backlash that included President-elect Donald Trump, backed off a plan to diminish the Office of Congressional Ethics. The vote approving the changes was secret but one Florida Republican said today he was always against the move. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]
› 2016 was officially Sarasota's warmest year yet
The statistics are in and the National Weather Service has spoken: 2016 was the Sarasota-Bradenton area's warmest year yet. The year's average daily temperature, at 75.3, beat last year's record-setting average by 0.1 degrees, according to weather service meteorologist Paul Close.
› Lawmaker calls for hunting tegu lizards in Everglades
Lawmakers will be asked to fund a pilot program to hunt non-native tegu lizards said to be decimating the Everglades and other ecosystems throughout parts of southern and central Florida.
› After financial setback, $305 million Miami science museum rises
A new science museum in Miami is on target to open in the spring after surviving financial setbacks that threatened to derail the project. Workers are putting finishing touches on the Frost Science Museum along the Biscayne Bay waterfront downtown.
› Medicare reduces payments to 4 low-performing Jacksonville hospitals
The federal government cut payments to four Jacksonville hospitals because they are among the worst-performing hospitals when it comes to patient safety.
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