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Wednesday's Afternoon Update

Lawmakers to take up $74 billion budget

Florida legislators are taking their first votes this year on a new state budget. House and Senate committees are expected to vote Wednesday on rival $74 billion spending plans. Fueled by growth that is adding to the state's bottom line, the proposed budgets include more money for public schools and a pay raise for state workers. More from the AP, the Orlando Sentinel and CBS Miami.

Darden awards $1.9 million in community grants

Orlando-based Darden Restaurants' charitable foundation on Wednesday awarded more than $1.9 million to more than 850 nonprofit organizations in the United States and Canada. Individual restaurants choose local community programs to get grants of $1,000 apiece. The programs chosen either preserve natural resources, fight hunger or help students attend college. More at the Orlando Sentinel.

Economic index shows South Florida's rapid climb

Credit union looking to attract younger clients

Wanted: “Spokester” to connect to young adults via social media and teach them about personal finance.

Responsibilities: Offer financial tips on buying a car, getting a mortgage, applying for a credit card, budgeting finances and more.

Tropical Financial Credit Union in Miramar, launched a search Tuesday for a new “spokester” position. It’s the credit union’s attempt to market to the under-banked Millennial generation.

» More from the Miami Herald and Young & Free Florida

South Florida climbed out of an economic dungeon in March – going from 94th place in February to 67th on the American City Business Journal's On Numbers Economic Index. More at the South Florida Business Journal.

Gainesville kicks off Fashion Week

The sixth season of Gainesville Fashion Week begins Wednesday and will run through Sunday, bringing together some of the area’s top designers, artists, and musicians with the art and business communities. Read more at the North Central Florida Business Report. For the full schedule of events, as well as RSVP and ticket information, visit gainesvillefashionweek.com.

Hospital group touts job boost in expanding health care coverage

Commissioned by the Florida Hospital Association to urge the state legislature to accept the federal funds to expand the Medicaid program in the state, a new report notes that jobs in health care as well as other industries would be given a big boost if Florida accepts $51 million in federal funding to cover its more than 1 million uninsured residents. More at the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

Out of the Box
Bond with your boss on the run

runningRunning just may be the 21st Century version of golf. It’s a chance to polish office relationships, impress the boss, and “bond with colleagues outside the hierarchy,” according to one CEO. Across the country, companies are forming running clubs, co-workers are pairing up to train for marathons and businesses are sponsoring employee teams in charity events.

» Full story from the Miami Herald