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May 27, 2018

Thursday's Daily Pulse

What you need to know about Florida today

| 3/22/2018

Gov. Scott asked for cyber-sleuths to prevent election hacking. He didn’t get them.

The revelations that Russian hackers tried to penetrate voting systems in at least five Florida counties caused widespread alarm last year and prompted Gov. Rick Scott to ask the Legislature for five cybersecurity experts in his proposed budget. But it didn’t happen. Instead, Florida will sign one-year contracts with all 67 county supervisors of elections to improve network monitoring of county voting systems. [Source: Times/Herald]

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Florida homes sales up 3.3% in February

Florida's housing market reported more closed sales, more new listings and higher median prices in February even as for-sale inventory remained tight, according to the latest housing data released by Florida Realtors®. The median price for homes was up 9.6% from a year earlier. “There is some good news for buyers: In February, new listings for single-family homes rose 6 percent year-over-year, while new townhouse-condo listings increased 6.9 percent,” said Christine Hansen, 2018 Florida Realtors President. See the report here, and read more at Builder.

Florida receives large grants from hunting, fishing licenses

It's a big catch for the Florida gaming industry. The state of Florida is reeling in two large grants from hunting and fishing licenses. The grant disbursement was announced Tuesday in Midway. The Department of the Interior and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced a disbursement of more than $26 million in grants to the state of Florida. The figures below, from the Department of the Interior, show the amounts Florida will receive. Read more at WTXL.

STATE TOTAL - SPORT FISH RESTORATION (FY18) TOTAL - ALL WILDLIFE FUNDS (FY18) TOTAL - ALL FUNDS (FY18)
FLORIDA $12,236,611 $14,351,398 $26,588,009

Push to let Florida voters decide gun restrictions fails

Florida residents won't get a chance to vote this fall on gun control restrictions. A state panel on Wednesday rejected several proposed restrictions on procedural grounds. A majority of the Florida Constitution Revision Commission voted that the gun control measures were out of order and could not be considered under commission rules. More from the AP and the Miami Herald.

Florida has record-breaking month of unclaimed property returns

Florida's CFO's office says during the month of February, the divisions total returns were valued at nearly 38-million dollars, exceeding a previous record by almost two million dollars. However, the state's office says in the Big Bend alone, there are roughly 163,000 accounts, with property worth more than $34 million, that remain unclaimed. [Source: WTXL]

ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:

› Koch brothers’ group targets new Tampa Bay Rays stadium
According to Chris Hudson, director of American for Prosperity's Florida operations, the group aims to draw a line in the sand as discussions continue between local government officials and the Rays to ensure no taxpayer money is used.

› Sarasota Film Festival announces full lineup
After announcing its celebrity guests and opening and closing night films Friday, Sarasota Film Festival unveiled its full lineup Wednesday. The 20th annual film festival, which takes place April 13-22, revealed the films it will show, many of which are screening shortly after their Sundance Film Festival or South by Southwest premieres.

› Palm Beach International Boat Show kicks off amid high demand from upper-end buyers
Despite rising interest rates and a choppy stock market, the annual Palm Beach International Boat Show kicks off its 33rd edition on Thursday with the expectation that big-money yacht buyers still want to open their wallets wide.

› The short life of a city gun ban in Florida: Coral Gables drops plan to defy the state
Coral Gables this week backed down from enacting Florida’s first citywide ban on assault rifles, with commissioners conceding that state sanctions for trying to regulate gun sales at the local level are too severe to ignore.

Go to page 2 for more stories ...

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