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Thursday's Daily Pulse

Florida lawmakers question Scott request for more tourism funding

Members of the House Transportation & Tourism Appropriations Subcommittee said Wednesday that Visit Florida would have to justify the proposed increase by showing how many of the 112.3 million visitors last year, and 88.2 million so far this year, came to Florida because of the agency’s marketing efforts. More from the Palm Beach Post and the Orlando Sentinel.

Florida Trend Exclusive
The past, present and future of dining in Florida

This month, Florida Trend marks 50 years of Golden Spoon awards. In these three stories, restaurant editor Chris Sherman looks at the past, present and future of dining in the Sunshine State.

  • The Past
    Florida Trend's Golden Spoon awards are 50 years old this year. A few original winners survive — and thrive.
  • The Present
    Along with Disney came a slew of chefs to broaden our palates
  • The Future
    Restaurants will be serving up more liquid meals and ethnic foods.

Rankings name Florida the nation’s "judicial hellhole"

A group funded by corporations and trade associations has called Florida’s Supreme Court the biggest “judicial hellhole” in the United States, claiming the court showed “barely contained contempt” for legislation intended to limit litigation. See the press release from the American Tort Reform Foundation, here. Or download the full report (PDF). Also read more at Reuters and the Tampa Bay Times.

Column: If saving Florida agriculture is a priority, the time is now

While Florida oranges have long occupied iconic status in American life, if Congress does not act promptly, Florida’s agricultural industry, including its treasured citrus growers and the communities that depend on it, could mark the end of Florida orange production and the state’s vital agricultural sector. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]

Deadlocked: Florida Legislature unlikely to pass gun bills

A push to expand gun rights in Florida appears doomed for another year after a state Senate panel voted down three separate gun bills. The vote means it is unlikely the Senate will consider any gun-related legislation in the annual session that starts in January. [Source: AP]


› Ultimate Software in top 10 on Glassdoor's 'Best Places to Work'
Weston-based software company Ultimate Software is the only South Florida company on Glassdoor's "100 Best Places to Work" for 2018, based on anonymous employee reviews.

› St. Pete-Clearwater airport sets passenger record for November — and the year
St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport (PIE) had a record November this year, with 171,040 passengers for the month. That’s an 18 percent increase over the airport’s traffic passenger for November 2016. Also see the press release from PIE, here.

› Aqua by the Bay developers, challengers spar over wetlands impact
A state administrative law judge is hearing arguments this week about an application by the developers of the controversial Aqua by the Bay project that pertains to how they intend to “preserve and enhance” mangroves, seagrasses and other environmentally sensitive coastal areas.

› He founded Cirque du Soleil. Now he’s joining Miami’s tech industry.
Guy Laliberté, the Canadian businessman who founded Cirque du Soleil in 1984 and sold it 30 years later for $1.5 billion, has become a creative and capital partner in the Magic City Innovation District.

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› Vacation rentals crackdown could spark conflict in Fort Myers Beach
It's a battle of rights as some people ponder whether short-term vacation rentals should be more closely regulated, in particular by local governments. Two Lee County municipalities took up the matter recently.

› Bill Nelson looks to expand Florida's solar industry through 'Green Banking Act'
U.S. Senator Bill Nelson introduced legislation this week that could further expand the solar industry in Florida by allowing banks to invest heavily in the renewable energy sector, a financial move which is currently banned under Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation regulation. See Sen. Nelson's announcement about the legislation, here.

› The Central Florida ale trail
Central Florida’s craft beer scene is growing and it’s easy to lose track of the newest taprooms opening up. That’s why the central Florida Brewers Guild decided to create the Central Florida Ale Trail a self guided map that takes craft beer drinkers to the 18 tap rooms in the area.

› Jeff Vinik plans new venture capital fund and innovation hub at Water Street Tampa
Jeff Vinik says the Tampa Bay area needs a bigger, stronger ecosystem for startup companies, and this week he announced three major initiatives to nurture them.