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Monday's Daily Pulse

Florida gearing up for gaming industry debates

State lawmakers are gearing up for another year of talks about Florida’s gaming industry. While 2013 was the year to crack down on Internet cafes and adult arcades, the Senate gaming committee in 2014 is expected to take a hard look at the state’s vast gambling industry as a whole. [Source: Naples Daily News]

Florida Trend Exclusive
Tallahassee Trend: Florida's millionaire lawmakers

Sen. Don Gaetz
Sen. Don Gaetz

Forty-nine state lawmakers are millionaires (nearly one of every three), according to state financial disclosure records.

Rep. José Oliva
Rep. José Oliva

In the Senate, 16 legislators are worth at least $1 million, with Senate President Don Gaetz the wealthiest, with a net worth of more than $26 million. In the House, 33 lawmakers are worth at least $1 million; the richest is Rep. José Oliva (R-Miami Lakes), whose wealth stems from his family’s cigar business. Full story.

New flood insurance rules have consequences for Florida's economy

Come Oct. 1, any business in a high-risk area will immediately lose its flood insurance subsidy. Any home sold after Oct. 1 will also lose its subsidy. And any home sold after Biggert-Waters passed last summer will lose its subsidy. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

Companies converge this week to talk collaboration with NASA

Across the nation, NASA and commercial companies are collaborating on the development of new technologies that benefit both parties. NASA needs new tech for space exploration. Companies need new products and services to increase revenue and profits, or generate new jobs. [Source: Florida Today]

College gave Florida students an education in deceit

The settlement with ATI followed a familiar pattern: for-profit colleges accused of breaking the rules receive a small fine that amounts to pennies on the dollar compared to the overall federal money they take in. The ATI punishment was a bit harsher in that it forced the school to permanently shut down. [Source: Miami Herald]


› Central Florida metro area job market is lowest-paying in country
Metro Orlando's median pay ranks last among the nation's 50 biggest metropolitan areas, and it has the largest share of jobs — 37 percent — paying less than $25,000 a year. That's nearly twice the rate of Las Vegas, another city built on tourism.

› Rise in rentals: Developers build amid demand
After a long drought in rental construction and the loss of thousands of rental units to condo conversion during the last boom, 13 new rental apartment projects with 3,508 units were completed recently in Miami-Dade and Broward counties and another 31 projects with 9,841 units are under construction.

› Benderson Park's benefits will likely extend to namesake firm
What began as a mining pit for road construction crews — and years later served the public under the names North Metro Park and Cooper Creek Park — has become a dream fulfilled, capped by its designation last week by rowing's Swiss-based governing as the site of the 2017 World Rowing Championships.

› Bollywood Oscars advance team scouts Tampa Bay venues
Ten months out, an advance team from the International Indian Film Academy spent last week in the Tampa Bay area scouting locations and hotels for next year's "Bollywood Oscars," and they liked what they saw.

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› Jim Greer: Political hotshot to prison jumpsuit
He once controlled the Republican Party of Florida, flying on chartered jets, drinking top-shelf bourbon and mingling with the rich and powerful. Now Jim Greer lives at Gulf Forestry Camp, a low-security prison in a remote patch of the Florida Panhandle and a world away from the life he lived as a confidant of former Gov. Charlie Crist.

› Tax coffers grow with higher values, fewer breaks
Rising home prices and an influx of investor-owners — a group that doesn't get Florida's homestead tax break — are boosting the taxable value of local governments' property-tax rolls for the first time in years.

› In wake of Visit Jacksonville call for new tourism philosophy, industry heads angle for action
After Visit Jacksonville CEO Paul Astleford said last week that community leaders are unintentionally hindering tourism growth, many in the city took his observations to heart and say now is the time for action. Astleford, whose organization is responsible for enhancing tourism in the Jacksonville area.

› Dolphins' new logo helps merchandise sales, but how much depends on winning
Long a laggard, the once-perfect Dolphins hope their new look and new players will improve their fortunes this season, which kicks off Sunday with a game in Cleveland. Last season, weak performance on the field contributed to the team's failing to rank among the top 10 for National Football League merchandise sales, according to sports business analysts.