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Bright Ideas for Florida in 2014

Call them New Year's resolutions if you like. As 2014 approached, Florida Trend asked dozens of Floridians — businesspeople, politicians, academics and citizens of all political stripes and persuasions — this question: What's something Florida could do — in 2014 — to make the state a better place to live?

Florida, it seems sometimes, is awash in all kinds of "visioning" efforts, long-term goal setting and BHAGs — Big, Hairy, Audacious Goals, like "make Florida the No. 1 state for high-tech startups by 2020" or "provide a world-class education for every child in the state." Noble aims, but not what we were seeking. We didn't care how broad an impact an idea might have, but we insisted on specific steps that could be accomplished in 2014 without pie-in-the-sky revenue assumptions, a major political realignment or divine intervention.

Some ideas that made our list would require legal changes, others only a shift in policy. Hardly any require very much money. All, we think, would make a real difference.

Below are 12 ideas for a better Florida. Do you have any ideas to add? Let us know - use the comment field below.

Medicaid
Take the $50 billion

Bright Futures
Florida's 'Bright Futures' merit-aid program should be retooled

Education
Require Florida students to take a "money course"

Philanthropy
Time for a new partnership with Florida

Tax Matters
Florida should collect tax on internet sales

Insurance
Fix Citizens

Ethics
Next steps

Term Limits
They're too short

Business Courts
More, please

Elections
More non-partisanship needed

Environment
Balance land acquisition and preservation

Water
Resource sustainability requires planning and action