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Wednesday's Daily Pulse

State to spend nearly $400,000 on gambling study

Florida is moving ahead with a critical study that could set the stage for the future expansion of gambling in the state, including whether or not Miami could become a rival to Las Vegas. The two leaders of the Republican-controlled Legislature late last week signed a nearly $400,000 contract to have New Jersey-based Spectrum Gaming Group conduct a comprehensive study of gambling. Read more from the AP.

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» Legislators turn to familiar company for gaming study

Immigration bill could help growers, consumers

Those who grow or buy Florida fruits and vegetables could be big winners from an immigration-overhaul bill unveiled on Tuesday by U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio and seven fellow senators. Under the proposed bill, the estimated 825,000 foreign workers and their families who are living in the state would have a chance to get legal, compete for higher-paying jobs and eventually become citizens. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]

Teacher unions sue state over teacher evaluations

Teachers unions on Tuesday sued the state and three local school boards over performance evaluations that grade Florida's teachers on subjects and students they don't teach, which they called "arbitrary, irrational and unfair." The suit, backed by the National Education Association and Florida Education Association, includes seven teachers from around the state as plaintiffs. More from the AP, StateImpact Florida and the Orlando Sentinel.

Why your boss wants you to retire on time

More boomers want—or need—to stay in the workplace longer. But staying on the job as you approach retirement age tends to makes you more expensive to an employer, because of your health-care costs. And that’s why workers now face a growing wave of initiatives from companies designed to keep those costs down. [Source: Market Watch]

Online-travel tax fight may go to Florida's high court

The 1st District Court of Appeal on Tuesday asked the Florida Supreme Court to resolve a dispute about whether companies such as Expedia and Orbitz are paying the proper amounts of tourist-development taxes to counties when customers book hotel rooms on their websites. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]


› International officials inspect Sarasota rowing facility
Four representatives of the international rowing body charged with reviewing Nathan Benderson Park's bid to host the sport's 2017 world championships toured the site Tuesday by boat, the first stop on a four-day trip that will canvas the area.

› Activists urge Floridians to fight anti-sick-time bills
A coalition of activists urged Floridians on Tuesday to oppose statewide legislation blocking local governments from adopting benefit provisions such as the pending paid sick time referendum in Orange County.

› 7 teams set spring training attendance records in Florida
The governor's office said spring baseball drew more than 1.6 million fans for the second consecutive season. Box office numbers show 1,638,457 fans attended 247 games of the 2013 season at 14 locations statewide. Only 2 games were rained out.

› Tampa’s business climate to get spotlight
United Airlines has chosen the Tampa Bay area as the first region to be featured as part of an economic development series by United “Hemispheres,” its in-flight magazine.

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› New code for Palm Beach County cabbies
Taxi drivers in Palm Beach County must accept credit cards and comply with a county dress code under a series of new regulations approved by county commissioners Tuesday. Several taxi owners complained that credit card fees would zap their earnings and that they could be stiffed when credit cards are declined.

› Florida Senate unanimously approves texting while driving ban
This might be the year Florida moves to outlaw texting while driving. The Florida Senate unanimously passed a texting-while-driving ban Tuesday and sent the legislation to the House for approval. Sen. Nancy Detert, R-Venice, who has sponsored the bill for four years, said the offense "needs to stop, this is the year."

› UF study uncovers key factor in Alzheimer’s progression
A new study from researchers at the University of Florida may have uncovered a critical factor that drives the relentless progression of Alzheimer’s disease â?• a discovery that could eventually slow its progression.

› 2 Million Floridians Threatened By Sea Level Rise, But New Study Says It Can Be Slowed
If sea level rise continues unabated, sections of South Florida -- and Miami in particular -- will be under water in a matter of decades. But a new study suggests that swift reductions in "short-lived climate pollutants" and carbon dioxide levels could help to slow the rise.