Wednesday's Daily Pulse
What you need to know about Florida today
Florida lawmakers begin final talks on state budget
Florida lawmakers have begun their final round of negotiations on a roughly $90 billion state budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1. A House-Senate conference committee held its first meeting Tuesday on the only bill the Legislature must pass during the 60-day session that is scheduled to end May 3. More from the AP and the Fort Myers News-Press.
As Medicaid expands elsewhere, Florida lawmakers seek to shrink it
While the rest of the country talks about or acts on expanding Medicaid coverage, it’s still off the table in Florida. In fact, Florida legislators are moving in the opposite direction. As they hash out an approximately $90 billion budget, leaders in both the Republican-controlled House and Senate are considering permanently shortening the time period for retroactive payment of hospital bills and debating whether to push more privatized care for people with disabilities. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]
Women, seniors had biggest impact on midterms in Florida
Women voted in larger numbers than men, and seniors voted in a higher concentration than any other age group in midterm elections in Florida last year. New figures released Tuesday by the U.S. Census Bureau show that 54% of the female-citizen voting-age population cast ballots in Florida, compared to 51% of men. Almost two-thirds of senior citizens in Florida voted, compared to around 30% of those between ages 18 and 24. [Source: AP]
Central Florida’s boom shows true picture of U.S. real estate trends
Buoyed by big growth in the Orlando region, there’s no question that central Florida has economic momentum. Combine that with the Tampa region and everything in between, and you get an already-large area of 4.3 million people, that will soon top 5.2 million. This influx of new Floridians will put strain on the environment, infrastructure, and roadways while potentially turning the region into a political battlefield come the 2020 election. [Source: Curbed]
Why Florida's medical marijuana industry is largely cash-based
The multimillion-dollar Florida medical marijuana industry is flourishing, with new dispensaries opening at a rapid pace. But one fundamental challenge has emerged: Where to put the cash? For all intents and purposes, the medical marijuana industry in Florida — which now has 212,000 registered users — is considered an “all cash” business, and it faces growing difficulty to hold that cash in traditional bank and credit union accounts. [Source: Spectrum News]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› ‘Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’ will film in Miami Beach
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel already did the Catskills, so what’s the next logical destination for Midge’s emerging 1950s comedy career? Yep. It’s sunny, Rat Packy, fabulous ’50s-era marvelous Miami Beach. And the best news yet is that the showrunners aren’t dressing up the Buckhead area of Atlanta to resemble the shores of South Beach.
› AOL co-founder Steve Case to host $100,000 tech startup pitch contest in Melbourne
Billionaire AOL co-founder Steve Case views the Space Coast as a nationally overlooked key in evolving Florida to a high-tech economy — and "not just the place to go for good weather or to see Mickey Mouse." "The history there has played a pivotal role in innovation in this country over the last half century. But most people, when they think about the innovation economy, don’t think of the Space Coast," Case said.
› Megabus.com expands Orlando to Miami trips to 48 a week
Come May 1, Megabus.com is expanding its weekly service from Orlando to Miami to 48 trips a week, including overnight routes. The bus service currently offers about 41 weekly departures, a company spokeswoman said. Route offerings during the weekdays are based on demand and are inconsistent, she added.
› Tampa Bay is ground zero for Florida's growing hepatitis A problem
The number of cases of hepatitis A in Florida has continued to steadily increase, with the largest concentration of the outbreak in the Tampa Bay area, according to numbers posted on the state Department of Health website.
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