"Florida millionaire" has a timeless air about it — except the state has fewer of them than it used to. The Sunshine State fell to 30th from 20th last year in a ranking of states based on their percentage of millionaire households. Read more from the Tampa Bay Times and see the full report.
A provision in the recently negotiated farm bill is designed to tackle the scourge of citrus greening, a bacterial disease that is devastating to crops in Florida and several other states. Included in the legislation’s conference report is $125 million spread over five years that will be guaranteed to go to citrus disease research. [Source: McClatchy]
A Florida constitutional amendment calling for medical marijuana will be decided by Florida voters in November now that the state Supreme Court ruled Monday that the proposed initiative and ballot summary aren't misleading. Read more from the Miami Herald and the Tampa Bay Times and see the court ruling.
Floridians would get a 15-day sales tax holiday on hurricane preparedness supplies ranging from portable generators to radios this coming June under a proposal outlined Monday by Gov. Rick Scott. Scott said the measure would save taxpayers about $20 million and is part of the Republican governor's overall plan to cut taxes by $500 million this year. [Source: AP]
Florida bicyclists this year may achieve their dream: a safe, nature-lined bicycle trail connecting the state's coastlines. State policymakers are lining up behind a $50 million plan to tie together biking trails throughout Central Florida. Many see it both as an bonus for residents and a new draw for tourists who want to enjoy the state's natural beauty. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› Florida-based hospital chain accused of scheme to inflate bills [South Florida Sun-Sentinel]
A Florida-based hospital chain is currently battling a lawsuit after it was accused of scheming to inflate patient bills and target certain demographics. Health Management Associates is based in Naples and has 25 affiliated hospitals across the state.
› Miami-Dade, Beckham to talk soccer stadium [Miami Herald]
A downtown Miami soccer stadium could begin to take shape soon once negotiations begin in earnest Tuesday between Miami-Dade County and retired soccer star David Beckham’s investors, who are trying to create a new Major League Soccer team.
› Sarasota tourism surges in December [Sarasota Herald-Tribune]
Tourism in Sarasota County got a record-breaking kick to end 2013, a potent signal that the much-vaunted Southwest Florida visitor industry rebound will likely continue this winter.
› Cancer Treatment Centers to HQ in Boca [Boca News Now]
More than 200 medical jobs are coming to Boca Raton as Cancer Treatment Centers of America announces it will base its operation in the city.
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› Group Uses Films To Attract People To Miami Area [CBS Miami/AP]
A group in South Florida is now using film to market areas around Miami. The Reel Miami Project is planned as a series of six short films, each featuring different out-of-town characters arriving in neighborhoods around Miami.
› Orlando hotels set a record for revenue per room [Orlando Sentinel]
Orlando-area hotels broke a record in 2013: highest-ever revenue per available room. In 2013, it hit $72.04, up 7.8 percent compared with a year ago, according to Smith Travel Research, which tracks hotel data.
› Keating gift to Sarasota Museum of Art sparks donors [Sarasota Herald-Tribune]
The announcement of a million-dollar matching gift to the Sarasota Museum of Art/SMOA at a program on Saturday morning generated another $270,000 in pledges, sparked by a spontaneous gift of $60,000 from Ernest "Doc" Werlin. And a casual brunch for museum supporters on Sunday netted another $31,000.
› Patients flock to free clinics despite Obamacare [Miami Herald]
From Miami to Key West, other free and low-cost clinics say they’ve seen little impact from Obamacare — no drop-off in patient loads and sometimes even an increase, like the Fort Lauderdale clinic.