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Wednesday's Daily Pulse

Minimum wage hike would cut poverty but also jobs

Raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour could lift 900,000 Americans out of poverty but also cost a half million jobs, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said Tuesday in a report that’s sure to feed a simmering debate over how to help loft people up the economic ladder. More from McClatchy and the Washington Post and see the full report from the CBO.

Is Florida ready for a Cuban embargo reversal?

Most Floridians may now want to engage Cuba, but they don’t feel nearly as passionately about it as the state’s hard-line Cuban exile voters feel about keeping the embargo in place. Despite its advancing age and declining numbers, that hardcore exile cohort can still be an electoral force when it’s riled. [Source: WLRN]

State education board adopts revised Common Core standards

Meeting in Orlando, the board agreed to back some 99 revisions to the original Common Core standards for reading and math -- which were adopted by the state in 2010 -- but have become a focal point for both conservative and liberal critics. More from the Sarasota Herald-Tribune and StateImpact Florida.

Cold winter brings rare birds to Florida

Bay County has been a destination for a more literal type of snowbird this winter. Frigid temperatures across the country have brought some migrating birds farther south than they usually fly, with some making the trek all the way from the Arctic Circle. [Source: Sarasota Herald-Tribune]

Email still the top dog in online marketing

Email marketing has recently been overshadowed by the fresh relevance of social media, and is often not appreciated as a separate entity that offers its own unique benefits. While social media develops relationships and builds brand loyalty to establish business longevity, email marketing gets the job done by incentivizing consumers to make purchases that same day. [Source: North Central Florida Business Report]


› Citizens Property Insurance execs push for "kinder, gentler" and smaller company
In less than two years, Citizens Property Insurance has dropped its policy count by a half-million, pushing the state-run insurer of last resort below 1 million policies for the first time since 2006. Barry Gilway, Citizens president and chief executive, isn't satisfied.

› OakLeaf Plantation is the best place in Florida to buy a home
OakLeaf Plantation is the best place in Florida to buy a home, according to a new ranking. Nerdwallet.com, which crunches lots of numbers and ranks lots of things, put out its list Tuesday of the 20 best cities in Florida to buy a home.

› Investment strategist has bright outlook for South Florida
Jobs, wages and real estate prices will keep climbing this year in South Florida, as will government, corporate and consumer spending, a global investment strategist said Tuesday. “Things are moving in the right direction, and the probabilities suggest that they’re going to continue to do so,” Richard Golod said.

› Florida Retirement Reform Passes First Hurdle
By the narrowest of margins, the Florida Senate Community Affairs Committee by a 5-4 vote passed a potential change to the state worker retirement system.

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› Moms who 'have it all' work for balance
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor, 70.9 percent of all mothers of children younger than 18 are in the workforce, as compared to 48.8 percent in 1976. This change in the workforce has led to the ongoing debate of whether a working mother is able to achieve a “work-life” balance and “have it all.”

› Activist group against casinos in Florida to release documentary
An activist group's new documentary against casinos that's expected to heat up the debate over gambling policies in Florida will debut next week. The documentary is scheduled to premiere at theaters across Florida during the last week in February, ahead of the legislative session.

› Lawmakers Could Lower Costs In Florida’s Prepaid College Program
Looking to make higher education more affordable, state lawmakers Tuesday moved forward with a plan that would lower costs in the Florida Prepaid College Program and lead to about $50 million in refunds for some already-enrolled families.

› South Florida home prices show big gains
The median home value in South Florida continued to climb in the last quarter of 2013 while mortgage rates crept downward. In other words: You have to earn about $44,000 a year to afford the average home in Miami-Dade and Broward counties.