Monday's Daily Pulse
What you need to know about Florida today
Legislature approves $89 billion budget in rare Sunday session
In a rare Sunday overtime session, the Florida Legislature passed a budget of nearly $89 billion for next year to end a session that was overshadowed by the mass shootings in Parkland. This is the largest budget in state history. The budget includes $400 million for mental health and schoo safety, $100 million for Florida Forever programs, state law enforcement and firefighter pay raises and it increases personal needs allowance for nursing home residents. The budget was passed yesterday during the first scheduled legislative session on a Sunday in decades. See the Senate's summary of the budget here. Also read more at the Times/Herald, Tallahassee Democrat, AP, and the Palm Beach Post.
Florida Trend Exclusive
Florida Icon: Sherrill Milnes
Opera baritone Sherrill Milnes shares stories from his life as a singer. “A laryngologist can’t look at your throat and say, ‘Oh, you’re good.’ They can’t. They don’t know. Singing is a mystery, and that’s one of the wonderful things about it.” Full interview here, includes video of Milnes singing an aria from Rigoletto.
Cryptocurrency craze recalls days of South Florida fraud gone by
The hype and mysterious disappearances of funds in cryptocurrency exchanges sound familiar. They echo of the lawless investment days in South Florida that resulted in people losing fortunes and schemers going to prison. Can we prevent a repeat? [Source: Miami Herald]
Is Florida on track for a record year of manatee deaths?
So far, 166 manatees have died statewide through March 2. Cold spells are to blame for 51 deaths. The Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility Executive Director Jeff Ruch says Florida manatees are one big freeze away from an ecological disaster. [Source: AP]
Legislature adds to the more than 1,000 exceptions to Florida’s public records law
Nearly a dozen new exemptions to public records are poised to become law after this year’s legislative session, as lawmakers chipped away at what information is available to the public under the state’s Sunshine Law. [Source: Times/Herald]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› UCF trustees pick provost Whittaker to be next president
Provost Dale Whittaker is poised to become the next president of the University of Central Florida, saying he wants to lead the institution to “pre-eminent” status and develop a leading academic health science center. See the announcement from the university (includes video).
› Jacksonville-based Metro Diner is hungry for growth
Metro Diner is going national while staying local. The Jacksonville-based restaurant concept that will open its 50th location next week in Sarasota is gearing up to open more than 35 locations in 13 states this year.
› Ensuring quality health care for adolescents and young adults
Earlier in his career, Peter Shaw, M.D. knew he was interested in making a lifelong difference for children struggling with cancer. It wasn't long before he decided to concentrate on helping adolescents and young adults (AYA). See the full story from Johns Hopkins All Children's, here.
› Orlando Magic's foray into esports helps make gaming big business
Planning to enter the world of competitive video gaming in May, the Orlando Magic will soon select the players for their new franchise
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