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Wednesday's Daily Pulse

Gov. Scott under fire for health care cost estimate

Scott says he opposes expanding Florida Medicaid because it would cost too much: $63 billion over 10 years, he says, with the state paying $26 billion of that. But those numbers are based on a flawed report, according to a legislative budget analyst and State Economist Amy Baker. Read more from the AP and Health News Florida.

» Analysts question Scott health reform estimates
» Scott defends Medicaid expansion cost that others call inaccurate
» Scott was warned his Medicaid math was wrong
» PolitiFact Florida: Gov. Rick Scott ignores flaws in study when he cites Medicaid costs

Florida Trend Exclusive
Florida Icon: Brian Johnson

The lead singer for the hard rock band AC/DC tells us:

» Florida feels like home. When I go back to England, I feel like I’m visiting.

» I have a music room at Sarasota Memorial Hospital called the Brian Johnson Music Therapy Room. It’s for sick children, terminal children. It’s to get them away from the shiny things, the scrubs, the rubber gloves and the needles. There’s guitars, keyboards, drums. Music is good for you.

» Full story...

Brian Johnson
Brian Johnson [Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images]

Florida strawberry growers cautiously optimistic heading into 2013

As the new year rolled into its first week, Florida strawberries were in great shape with abundant volume, excellent quality and — unlike last year — a solid market. Last year, Florida growers got clobbered by a trifecta of calamity: California had an extended season; Mexico had tremendous volume; and a very warm winter led to volume that crashed the market. [Source: The Produce News]

What you don’t know about workplace rules could cost you your job

The holidays are over, your boss is still a jerk and now you’re deciding whether to set him straight about how to treat you in 2013. What you do next could cost you your job, shut you out of your industry for awhile or help you win a case against your employer. [Source: Miami Herald]

Gov. Scott, UF ask Machen to stay at helm

University of Florida President Bernie Machen will remain in his position. Gov. Rick Scott and University of Florida Board of Trustees Chairman David Brown asked Machen, the eleventh UF president, to continue to lead the university. More from the Gainesville Sun and WUFT.


› Jobs grow, wages dip
Of the 10 largest counties in the country, only Miami-Dade saw wages drop in the latest report

› At job fair, signs of economic rebound
The job fair at Pierce Manufacturing's Bradenton fire truck assembly plant illustrated just how far the local economy has come since the depths of the Great Recession.

› Public employees seeing first raises
It may be too early to declare that happy days are here again, but public employees — school teachers, library and parks employees — are starting to see their first raises since the Great Recession.

› Tri-Rail ridership hits 4 million for 2012
Tri-Rail ridership hit 4 million trips again last year, with a better job market pushing it back over a threshold not seen since 2008

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› Bipartisan Florida team to revive Everglades Caucus in U.S. House
For all the partisan bickering that cripples Congress these days, there is one thing Florida lawmakers have generally been able to agree on: the need to restore the Everglades.

› New lottery scratch-off game commemorates Florida's 500th anniversary
The Florida Lottery is commemorating the state's 500th anniversary with a new game. It's called the Florida Treasure Hunt and it features a 500-year-old map of Florida that contains scratch-off symbols. A ticket costs $3 and the top prize is $50,000.

› Olive Garden's president is out at Darden
Olive Garden president John Caron is leaving Darden Restaurants. LongHorn Steakhouse president Dave George will take the helm of Olive Garden starting Monday, and chief restaurant operations officer Valerie Insignares will become president of LongHorn Steakhouse.

› UF helping unlock a way to prevent weight gain?
A pill for permanent weight loss? Not quite, but scientists are on the trail of potentially reversing obesity, from deep inside our own cells.