When Congress scrutinizes comprehensive immigration reform later this year, the plans will have the fingerprints of Florida lawmakers all over them. A bipartisan group of eight U.S. senators, including Marco Rubio, R-Fla., unveiled plans Monday to overhaul the country's immigration policies. Read more from the Naples Daily News and the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
» Immigration proposal brings doubts, concerns
Consistent water-use permitting, more funding for agricultural research and preserving low property tax rates on farmland are among Florida farmers’ priorities in the next legislative session. But the annual luncheon of the Brevard County Cattleman’s Association and Brevard County Farm Bureau touched on at least one federal hot button: immigration reform. [Source: Florida Today]
Florida's Republican lawmakers are reluctantly acknowledging that the Affordable Care Act is the law of the land and are taking steps to determine exactly what that will look like. The Sunshine State has one of the highest numbers of uninsured residents in the country, some of the most stringent eligibility requirements for health care safety nets, a large number of legal immigrants and a proposal to privatize its Medicaid program statewide. [Source: AP]
Nowhere else in the wine world do so few give so much with the speed and noise of the bidders at the Naples Winter Wine Fest. They did it again last weekend raising more than $8.5 million in six hours for thousands of at-risk children within 20 miles of 500 donors under an inflated white tent on the lawn of the Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort. Read Chris Sherman's full report.
In a rough economy that has battered retirement savings and pensions during the past few years, solid positions are sought by many older-than-60 residents who might or might not want full-time work but definitely can use some extra income. Landing that good gig, though, can be a job in itself. [Source: Florida Today]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› Teen's artwork raises $30,000 for charity [South Florida Sun-Sentinel]
A friend's brush with cancer led 14-year-old artist Eve Moll to discover her talent for giving. Eve, a freshman at St. Thomas Aquinas in Fort Lauderdale, began donating her art to different causes more than three years ago and has so far raised more than $30,000 for charity.
› FPL creates data site for economic developers [Florida Trend]
To help attract new businesses to the state, Florida Power & Light’s office of economic development has developed two web-based tools to assist local economic development officials and companies that are considering expanding in Florida or relocating here.
› Tampa Bay's construction industry still among hardest-hit nationwide [Tampa Bay Times]
Tampa Bay may lead the state in job creation, but construction is still sitting out the rebound. The bay area's already decimated building industry posted the third biggest loss in construction jobs over the past year among 337 metros.
› FIU offers free online courses [Miami Herald]
Florida International University is offering five online courses that anyone can take, for free. The courses, which make up FIU’s initial offering of “Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC),” include entrepreneurship, real estate and a class on project management in English and Spanish.
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› Pop-up restaurants: One-night-only dining in Orlando [Orlando Sentinel]
Now that Orlando has embraced food trucks, some promoters have turned their attention to another big-city trend: the pop-up restaurant.
› Florida Tech team impresses at national energy challenge [Florida Today]
“Clear Choice,” a Florida Institute of Technology MBA student-led team, placed second in the national America’s National Gas Alliance Collegiate Energy Challenge held recently.
› Long-term care contracts will put billions in managed care's pockets [South Florida Sun-Sentinel]
The state has selected five companies to be the gatekeepers for its new $3 billion Medicaid long-term managed care program. And two of the biggest winners are from South Florida.
› An Orthodox vacation surge comes to Boynton [South Florida Sun-Sentinel]
A deluge of vacationing Orthodox Jewish families, enjoying an unusual confluence of winter break and holiday festivals, has descended on some neighborhoods west of Boynton Beach. Many Jewish northerners are visiting South Florida now during this "yeshiva-cation," or vacation time for families with children in yeshivas, or Orthodox Jewish private schools.