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Wednesday's Daily Pulse

Legislators consider changes to Florida's Sunshine Laws

When it comes to open government, Florida has been a national leader but there are already more than 1,000 exemptions to the state’s open government laws. And bills have been filed looking to add more. Another bill aims to strengthen the Sunshine Laws. Read more from the AP and the Palm Beach Post.

See also:
» On sunshine, Florida has strong laws, weak enforcement
» Celebrating Sunshine Week
» 5 things to watch at the Florida Legislature on Wednesday

Retirement: A third have less than $1,000 put away

Most people have very little tucked away for retirement, and many aren't even trying to figure out how much they'll need later in life, a new national survey reveals. [Source: USA Today]

Florida ranks fourth in best taxpayer state survey

There are a lot of reasons to live in Florida: sunshine, beaches, Walt Disney World … and taxes? When it comes to the best states to be a taxpayer, Florida is ranked among the best with an average annual state and local tax payout of $3,648. More at the Laker/Lutz News and Wallethub.

See also:
» Florida 29th in sales tax rates

Despite high prices, spring breakers are back

Last March delivered South Florida’s best ever hotel performance, with properties packed at sky-high rates. This year is shaping up to command even more money from winter-weary visitors willing to pay top dollar for hot destinations. [Source: Miami Herald]

Jeb Bush in the White House? He's considering it

Jeb Bush gets the question at just about every public appearance these days: Will you run for president? The former Florida governor gives a well-worn answer: "I can honestly tell you that I don't know what I'm going to do." It's an answer that won't satisfy the GOP faithful for much longer. [Source: AP]


› Costs rise more in South Florida than U.S.
The consumer price index for all urban consumers in Broward and Miami-Dade counties was up 1.6 percent in February from a year ago compared to the national increase of 1.1 percent during the same time, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said.

› Florida Hospital to expand biomedical research with new building
Florida Hospital is taking the next step in making biomedical science part of its growing Health Village near downtown Orlando with construction of a $55 million research building.

› Florida lands 10 of the top 25 best beaches in the U.S.
Why should Dr. Beach have all the fun? While his famous best beaches in the U.S. list for 2014 won't come out until Memorial Day weekend, the folks over at TripAdvisor have corralled their user reviews to come out with their second annual Travelers' Choice Awards including the Top 25 Beaches, not only in the U.S., but for the World.

FLORIDA BEACHES that made TripAdvisor's Top 25 Beaches in the U.S.
Rank Beach
3 Siesta Key Public Beach - Siesta Key, Florida
9 Saint Pete Beach - Saint Pete Beach, Florida
11 Caladesi Island State Park Dunedin, Florida
14 St. Augustine Beach - Saint Augustine Beach, Florida
17 Bahia Honda State Park and Beach Big Pine Key, Florida
19 Pensacola Beach - Pensacola, Florida
20 Beach at Panama City - Panama City Beach, Florida
21 Clearwater Beach - Clearwater, Florida
22 Lido Beach - Sarasota, Florida
25 Navarre Beach - Navarre, Florida
Source: TripAdvisor

› South Florida’s first coding school launching in Miami

Wyncode, a nine-week immersion-style development boot camp teaching students computer programming and how to create their own web apps, will begin its first class in early May at The LAB Miami, a campus for creative entrepreneurs in Wynwood.

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› Commercial real estate making strides despite office vacancies
Office vacancies remain elevated across Palm Beach County, though space in some of the most desirable buildings is becoming scarce. Palm Beach County's vacancy rate dipped to 19.8 percent in 2013 from 21.6 percent the year before.

› Collector car auction breaks sales record
Auctions America generated more than $21 million in sales at its collector car auction in Fort Lauderdale this past weekend, making it the most successful event in South Florida for the company.

› Sarasota County tweaks rules on rural growth
Developers looking to build a village in east Sarasota County may soon be able to do so on smaller pieces of land and count stormwater ponds and lakes toward the county’s open space requirement.

› Miami-Dade commission approves Jackson Health System employee bonus
Jackson Health System employees should see a 2 percent bonus in their paychecks in about two weeks after Miami-Dade commissioners on Tuesday approved a series of contracts with labor unions representing workers at the county’s public hospital network.