FloridaTrend.com, the Website for Florida Business

Wednesday's Daily Pulse

State consumer confidence hits new post-recession high

Florida’s consumer confidence keeps inching higher, rising one point from May to 82 this month — another post-recession high, according to a University of Florida survey. June is the fourth consecutive month to show a rise in the sentiment of Floridians. More from UF News and the Gainesville Sun.

Home prices and sales soar

By the measure of an influential index, rising prices have now brought the housing market full circle. Prices in the 20 cities tracked by the Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller Index have now leapt to their level of early 2004 -- at the onset of an unprecedented run-up that was clipped when prices dove 50 percent to 60 percent in many areas. More from the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, the Miami Herald and the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

AARP: Make employers provide earned sick time

The AARP has come out in favor of requiring employers to provide earned paid time off. The powerful lobbying group for people 50 years and older said it's crucial since so many caregivers can't afford to take time off. And with the aging population, workplace leave policies in general are due for an overhaul. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]

Supreme Court's Voting Rights Act ruling affects five Florida counties

The Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that a key provision of the landmark Voting Rights Act cannot be enforced unless Congress comes up with a new way of determining which states and localities require federal monitoring of elections. More from the Times/Herald and the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.

Florida Legal Elite

Florida Trend Exclusive

Legal Elite 2013

Ten years ago, Florida Trend published its first Legal Elite special report, recognizing the top attorneys in the state as chosen by their peers. In this 10th Anniversary edition, we are pleased to report that the legal profession in Florida remains vibrant with new practice areas represented in Legal Elite, increased statewide voting and a 43% increase in the number of firms with Legal Elite attorneys. See full Legal Elite package.


› Higher rates loom for Citizens policyholders
With a proposed 6.9 percent statewide average increase for all policy types in 2014, state-run Citizens Property Insurance is continuing an aggressive campaign to boost rates and drive more customers into the private market.

› Bill Gates buys equestrian estate In Florida for $8.7 million
Seattle-based Microsoft founder Bill Gates — and second richest man in the world — remarkably, doesn’t own an excess of properties. Previously, when his horse-loving daughter competed in Florida, the multi-billionaire rented homes for his family rather than buying. Not any longer.

› PGT partners with second-largest home builder
PGT Industries, the maker of hurricane-resistant windows and doors, has formed a partnership with the nation's second-largest home builder to supply impact-resistant products to all of its Southwest Florida and South Florida communities.

› Florida Lottery warns players of scam
Florida Lottery officials are warning players not to fall for a new scheme designed to get their money. A group named Lotto Claims Associate & Sweepstake Inc. has been sending letters to people seeking personal and financial information to free up frozen lottery winnings, officials said.

Go to page 2 for more stories ...

› Orioles pledge $150,000 to Sarasota community development
The Baltimore Orioles organization announced a $150,000 pledge Tuesday to help fund the latest economic and community development initiative by the Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce.

› Heat parade makes Tri-Rail a winner, too
Tri-Rail scored big Monday, carrying its highest paid ridership in the commuter train's 24-year history. Officials say 19,060 passengers rode the train Monday, many headed to the Miami Heat championship parade in downtown Miami.

› Deutsche Bank to hire 300 in Jacksonville
Jacksonville fell short in capturing 431 jobs that global banking powerhouse Deutsche Bank announced last week will go to North Carolina. But Deutsche Bank’s expansion in the Southeast is generating enough new jobs for governors in North Carolina and Florida to embrace the international bank as a positive economic indicator.

› Duke Energy wants to test new coal blend at Crystal River plants
In hopes of reducing emissions, Duke Energy is seeking a permit to test a new coal blend in its oldest electricity generators at the Crystal River power complex. Crystal River coal units 1 and 2 are facing retirement unless Duke can find a way to reduce their emissions and extend their lives.
» Related: Obama takes on power plants, Keystone as part of climate plan