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Thursday's Daily Pulse

FPL seeks approval to invest in producing natural gas

The utility on Wednesday asked regulators to approve plans for a small investment in new wells in Oklahoma that would provide some of the natural gas it uses to make electricity. It also asked for guidelines on investing in larger natural-gas production ventures later. Regulators in other states already have given approval for utilities to invest in natural gas production, but Florida has not. The Florida Public Service Commission said FPL's request is the first in the state. Read more from Sun Sentinel.

Indonesia is helping lead Tupperware’s international growth.

International Roundup
Sealing the deal: Tupperware empowers women across the globe

Tupperware Brands makes only 14 percent of its sales in North America. “We are not an American company expanding internationally,” says Rick Goings, the company’s CEO and chairman. “We are a global company that just happens to have its headquarters in Florida.” Access Florida Trend story here.

Citizens delays moving policies to private companies

Citizens Property Insurance Corp. delayed Wednesday putting existing policies into a clearinghouse designed to shift property owners into the hands of private companies. Citizens President and CEO Barry Gilway said policies up for renewal with the state-backed company won't start to be run through the electronic clearinghouse until around Nov. 1 -- rather than in August or September. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]

» Column: Another costly homeowners insurance mistake for Florida

Digital learning drives Pinellas schools budget

Pinellas County school officials are planning for ever-increasing costs. The next school year will be the first under a new set of education standards, called Florida Standards, that require classrooms, testing and even student homework to be technology-driven. Pinellas has an estimated operating budget of $880 million, about $20.9 million more than last year. However, much of that increase is earmarked for specific initiatives like boosting technology. [Source: Tampa Tribune]

Mitigating social media risk at the Florida Bar Association

The Florida Bar Association is taking proactive measures to preserve electronic records. In a legal case, any communications exchanged can be relevant. Attorneys' interactions in online social environments in personal or commercial cases are increasingly being sought and deposed into court cases, which have increased by 66 percent in the past year. Companies that are unable to produce these records face fines. Read more from Forbes.


› Benefit corporations law helps social entrepreneurs
Florida has become the 25th state to allow a new kind of for-profit company which is set up to serve a public purpose. Rick Scott this week signed a law allowing "benefit corporations," which are formed to help employees, the community or the environment in addition to their owners.

› Census shows Florida continues to get older
The national shift toward an older population remains more pronounced in Florida, and especially Sarasota and Manatee counties, according to new U.S. Census Bureau data.

› Florida again leads nation in 'zombie foreclosures'
The Sunshine State accounts for 49,000 zombie homes -- abandoned and sitting for months. That's more than a third of the nation's total.

› Citizens board votes to lower insurance rates
The rate changes were recommended Wednesday at the quarterly meeting of Citizens' Board of Governors and now must go before the Office of Insurance Regulation for final approval.

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› Rubio's pitch for middle class suggests 2016 platform
Sen. Rubio has spent this year trying to put heft behind his long-regarded oratory skills — and to move beyond the treacherous immigration debate of 2013. His ideas include ways to make college more accessible, foster job skills programs, grow the economy through less regulation and shift anti-poverty funding to states.

› Poll says voters want final say in expanded gambling
A new poll released Wednesday shows half of Florida voters don’t favor candidates who support expanding Las Vegas-style gambling in the state. The results also show that nearly two-thirds of those polled support a state constitutional amendment requiring the approval of voters statewide to allow new casinos.

› Human rights groups seek inquiry into Fla. prison shower death
The American Civil Liberties Union on Wednesday called for a federal investigation into the 2012 scalding death of a mentally ill prisoner in Florida for which no one has been held accountable.

› New Central Florida Expressway Authority board is taking shape
The board of Orlando's new expressway authority is taking shape with elected officials from Orange, Seminole, Osceola and Lake counties taking six of the nine spots. The remaining three positions will be picked by Rick Scott.