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Monday's Daily Pulse

Employers work to ease cost of health overhaul

Six months from fully taking effect, President Barack Obama's main legislative achievement in attempting to expand access to health care is generating concerns locally and nationally about its potential fallout. Those worries include higher unemployment, reduced employee benefits, lowered incomes and higher business costs. [Source: Ocala Star-Banner]

Related:
» Prepare for Launch of 'Get Covered' Campaign


Florida Bankers Association chairman assumes helm at critical time

Jorge I. Triay, a longtime South Florida banker, will assume the role as the new chairman of the Florida Bankers Association on Wednesday, an appointment he will hold for the next year, after having served as chairman-elect for the past 12 months. [Source: Miami Herald]


Florida Democrats see Gov. Rick Scott as easy target in 2014

Florida Democrats' best candidate for governor right now isn't a candidate and wasn't always one of them. And party leaders caused a stir by snubbing a longtime candidate and party stalwart. But when the elites of the Florida Democratic Party met Saturday in Hollywood for their annual fundraising gala, they suggested none of that was really a big problem for one big reason: Rick Scott. More from the Times/Herald and the AP.

Related:
» High hopes for Democratic Chairwoman Allison Tant


Column: Teens savor jobs -- and they should

Working in a restaurant or bagging groceries once were the staples of part-time work. But somewhere, somehow, things went a little wacky. New regulations were foisted on businesses restricting the hours some teens could work, and limiting the types of work they could do. [Source: Florida Today]


Premiums rising for national flood program, though Florida pales in payouts

Florida didn't trigger the financial crisis within the National Flood Insurance Program. In fact, over the past 35 years, the state's property owners have helped prop up the program, paying four times more than what they have gotten back in claims. The payback for all that financial help: About 270,000 Florida properties could face huge flood insurance rate hikes. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]


ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:

› Developers compete for $1 billion Miami Beach project
As Miami Beach embarks on an ambitious push to overhaul the convention center and develop the surrounding sea of parking lots, it's become one of the biggest opportunities for urban renewal in the country -- a 52-acre blank slate bordering some of the hottest real estate and tourism anywhere.

› Few jobs out there don't require at least some computer literacy
Vivian Godwin is the online-learning coordinator at Workforce Central Florida, the region's publicly funded jobs agency. She oversees the agency's programs that provide computer-literacy training — free of charge — to laid-off workers.

› Florida couple among first to pay for private flight into space
Watching video of the recent test flight from thousands of miles away in Central Florida, Marc Hagle imagined the G-forces pressing against his chest as the rocket motor ignited and the spaceship accelerated, just as he’d experienced in a simulator. His wife, Sharon, felt a surge of excitement, thinking, “Wow, this is really going to happen.”

› Investment firms gobbling up homes in Southwest Florida
Two of the largest real estate investors in the country are manipulating home values across Southwest Florida through rapid price inflations that could form another bubble here, an analysis shows.


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› Theme parks seize on Potter's success to peddle new must-have items
It's the latest attractions arms race. Though Orlando's theme parks have for years tried to top one another with sophisticated rides and shows, the battlefield today extends to food and merchandise, too.

› Amid Heat mania and mounting costs, team shoots for extended arena lease
Before the era of the Three Kings has a chance to end, the Miami Heat has begun talks to rework a deal for public subsidies at AmericanAirlines Arena in exchange for a longer lease and a significant upgrade of the 13-year-old facility.

› Skobel Homes a model for success
Alex Skobel was just two years out of college when he started building homes and, in one of the most challenging times for the industry, he turned Skobel Homes into one of the top-selling home builders in the Gainesville area — all before age 30.

› Rubio's English requirement touches nerve in Florida
If you can't speak English, you shouldn't seek permanent residence in this country, and you certainly can't become a citizen. That's the way U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio sees it, and that's a requirement he's trying to inject in the bipartisan immigration bill being debated in the Senate this week.