Lawmakers are likely to return home this week without an agreement on meaningful health care reform, despite the early endorsement of Gov. Rick Scott and the pleas of businesses and hospitals. With two days remaining in the legislative session, Republicans in the House are no closer to caving on accepting $51 billion in federal health insurance aid. Democrats are no closer to being recognized as a legitimate partner in talks. Read more from the Tampa Bay Times and see our Legislative Roundup below:
» Gov. Rick Scott vetoes alimony, signs campaign finance and ethics
» Lawmakers cut a deal on Citizens reforms
» California company snags last-minute tax break from Florida lawmakers
» Biofuel producer says Legislature may force him to expand out of state
» House OKs bill to prolong foster care
A re-creation of the Mission San Luis in Tallahassee. The actual mission, considered the “capital” of Florida’s missions, was abandoned in 1704. » Full story
While most of Florida's Hispanic population now lives in the south, the state's northern tier was once the seat of Hispanic culture, including a network of Franciscan missions. Full story.
Florida's teachers could get raises as soon as this summer under a revised budget agreement state lawmakers hammered out Wednesday. The change means school employees won't have to wait until June 2014 for a pay hike, as legislative leaders had decided earlier in the week. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]
For years, the construction industry has been focused on energy-efficient certifications, and it's only been since unemployment spiked during the recession that builders have begun emphasizing using products and materials from this country. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]
Spirits handcrafted by boutique booze-makers may see some growth in market share as more Americans try to support smaller enterprises, according to industry experts who spoke this week at the 70th annual Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America convention at the Grande Lakes Orlando resort. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› Gainesville celebrates 30th annual National Tourism Week [Gainesville Business Report]
From its growing technology industry to its natural attractions and sporting events, Alachua County has a way of finding itself in the national spotlight and on the radar for curious travelers. The county hosted more than 1,765,000 visitors in 2012, in turn generating more than $3.5 million in tourism tax.
› Embraer delivers first of its Phenom jets at Melbourne facility [Florida Today]
Embraer Executive Jets on Wednesday celebrated what the company is calling "a major milestone in its history" - delivery of the first of up to 125 Phenom 300 light jets to NetJets.
› Best bass fishing lakes in Florida? Bassmasters says there are seven [Orlando Sentinel]
The best bass fishing lakes in Florida -- and the nation -- have been identified by Bassmasters Magazine. Depending on where you live in Florida, a couple may be close to your backyard.
› Cosmic Cafe owner shares his love of Airstream trailers [Florida Today]
To some folks, Airstreams are quaint, plain and old-fashioned. To others, they are an uncompromising symbol of enduring quality and represent the optimism of a post-war, family-oriented era. Jason Reed is definitely in the latter camp.
Go to page 2 for more stories ...
› FARO Technologies share price falls on earnings, revenue misses [Orlando Sentinel]
The Lake Mary-based company earned $4.6 million, or 27 cents a share, on revenue of $65.4 million in the first quarter that ended March 30, compared with a profit of $6.75 million, or 39 cents a share, on revenue of $65.2 million a year earlier.
› Senate supports sales tax exemption for manufacturing equipment [Naples Daily News]
The state Senate on Wednesday approved an amendment that exempts certain manufacturing equipment from the state’s sales tax. The amendment was tacked on to House bill 7007, which deals with economic incentives.
› Publix's profit soars 15.1% in 1st quarter [Orlando Sentinel]
Lakeland-based Publix's first-quarter profit jumped 15.1 percent from the previous year, the company reported Wednesday. Sales reached $7.5 billion for a 6.1 percent increase from last year.
› Archaeologists find remnants of ancient Indian village, city’s first hotel on Miami River dig [Miami Herald]
In urban archaeology, the backhoe is a time machine: Scrape away a mountain of asphalt, dirt and rock near the river in downtown Miami, and the city’s buried history, centuries of it, suddenly comes to light in a startling reveal.