Thursday's Daily Pulse
What you need to know about Florida today
Sunshine State has another banner year for tourism
Florida had another record-setting year for tourism despite natural disasters, a virus outbreak and a tragic attack on an Orlando nightclub. Gov. Rick Scott will announce Thursday at the Brevard Zoo that nearly 113 million tourists visited the state last year. More from the AP and Florida Today.
Floridians say this is the time to purchase a home, survey shows
Even as homeownership nationwide is at a record low, a slim majority of Floridians say now is a good time to buy a house, according to a newly released University of Florida survey. Full story from UF, here.
Congressional delegation vows to tackle Florida's many water issues
Florida's congressional delegation, which stretches from the far left to the far right, has successfully joined together to fight oil drilling efforts. Now the lawmakers are seeking common cause on a broader array of water quality issues facing the state. [Source: Times/Herald]
Florida House moves on eliminating Enterprise Florida, Visit Florida
A measure to abolish the public-private Enterprise Florida and Visit Florida will be heard by the House Appropriations Committee next week. Meanwhile, Gov. Rick Scott continues to tour the state drumming up support for the agencies, appearing Wednesday in Riviera Beach and Sunrise. [Source: Northwest Florida Daily News]
Heat is on to fix assignment of benefits crisis in Florida
Florida’s insurance industry will apply significant pressure on lawmakers to pass assignments of benefit (AOB) reform in the upcoming legislative session as consumers face rate increases and a looming coverage availability crisis due to serious and costly abuse of the policyholder benefit. [Source: Insurance Journal]
› Nemours awaits state decision on heart transplant program
Nemours Children’s Hospital will find out on Friday if the state is going to give initial approval to its application for a new heart and lung transplant program, which would be Central Florida’s first and the fifth in the state.
› Miami-based MealPal raises $15 million in venture capital, announces expansion plans
MealPal, a subscription restaurant lunch service based in the Brickell area of Miami, has quickly expanded to Boston, New York and four other U.S. cities.
› Naples film and TV studio doubles in size
ITZ Studios recently opened a new 8,000-square-foot film and television facility that’s more than double the size of its previous location. Shows ITZ has produced include “Billionaire’s Coast,” which follows high-end Naples real estate brokers as they sell luxury properties, from condos to mansions, in and around Naples.
› Florida lawmakers unveil proposed K-12 school testing reforms
Instead of scattering K-12 assessment tests throughout the spring months and disrupting teaching time, a reform proposal being unveiled Wednesday morning in the Florida Legislature would require all such exams to take place only in the final three weeks of the school year.
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