Monday's Daily Pulse
What you need to know about Florida today
Congress approves Florida ag disaster package
The U.S. House and Senate has approved an agriculture disaster package that will send billions of dollars in relief to Florida growers hit by Hurricane Irma. The package – passed as part of the federal budget deal – provides a total of US$3.6 billion to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, $2.36 billion of which will be used to make direct payments to Florida producers who’ve suffered hurricane-related crop losses last year. Full story from WUSF here. Also read more at the Fresh Fruit Portal and the Daily Commercial.
Colombian expats angry with FARC deal flock to Florida
One day after the Colombian rebel group-turned-political party FARC announced it would suspend campaign activities in light of violent protests, a spirited crowd of more than 1,000 Colombian expats traveled from across the United States to attend a political campaign rally in South Florida ahead of presidential and congressional elections in the country. [Source: Miami Herald]
The Trump administration wants to turn the International Space Station into a commercially run venture
The Trump administration wants to turn the International Space Station into a kind of orbiting real estate venture run not by the government, but by private industry. The White House plans to stop funding for the station after 2024, ending direct federal support of the orbiting laboratory. But it does not intend to abandon the orbiting laboratory altogether. [Source: Washington Post]
» Should the federal government stop funding the International Space Station, and encourage privatization? (quick poll)
Let's make a deal? Florida legislators take up gambling bill
The Florida Legislature is rolling into the sixth week of its annual session and there's a big question out there: can legislators cut a deal on gambling in the Sunshine State? Gambling is technically illegal in Florida, but it's allowed at casinos owned by the Seminole Tribe of Florida, and it's also allowed at dog and horse tracks scattered throughout the state. Senate Bill 840 "Gaming," filed by Sen. Travis Hutson, would allow dog and horse tracks to keep poker rooms open even if they stopped live races. Also, the bill makes it clear that Floridians who bet on fantasy football and fantasy baseball aren't breaking the law. See the bill here, and read more at the AP.
Medical marijuana may be legal, but patients still go without in Florida
As legislators consider yanking funding in this year’s budget amid Department of Health delays on medical marijuana regulations, the parents who lobbied for legalization say the reality has fallen short of what they hoped for when the drug was broadly legalized for medical use. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› Jax Auto Show chairman: Technology fuels impact of market and show
Tom O’Steen has seen firsthand the growth of the automotive market on the First Coast and the technological advancements found in today’s vehicles. O’Steen recently discussed the automotive industry and this year’s show.
› Israel bonds group kicks off annual U.S. drive in South Florida
In investment circles, the state of Florida and Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties — as well as the cities of Miami Beach and Boca Raton — have something in common: They all invest in State of Israel bonds.
› Ten-X ranks Tampa among top five U.S. markets for office investors
Ten-X Commercial ranked Tampa among its top five “buy markets” in a report on U.S. office markets. The online real estate transaction platform ranked Tampa as the fourth-best market in the nation for office property investors.
› South Florida’s boatmakers hope to ride wave of prosperity
Amid signs the economy is strong overall — until last week, the stock market was reaching new peaks — boat retailers are anticipating a wave of new buyers.
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