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Wednesday's Daily Pulse

State economist warns lawmakers of looming recession

The Florida Legislature's chief economist warned lawmakers Tuesday to brace for a recession in the next few years. "We're in the middle of a very fluid, very volatile time," Amy Baker, director of the state's Office of Economic and Demographic Research, said there has been a "definite slowing of growth" globally that mostly had "nothing" to do with Florida [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

Can Rick Scott adjust to the U.S. Senate after leading Florida the past eight years?

After the last eight years as Florida's governor, Rick Scott woke up Tuesday unemployed. But by 4:05 p.m. he had a new job: U.S. Senator. For the first time in much of his adult life, Scott is not the executive of a company or of a state. He is now one of 100. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

  rick scott

Rick Scott

See also:
Florida Trend Exclusive
» Rick Scott's Legacy as Florida's Governor

Florida Trend Exclusive
Cardiac care: Implant option

An alternative to open-heart surgery originally designed for older and sicker people gains traction among a wider range of patients. Read more and see other stories in this in-depth look at cardiac care in Florida from Florida Trend.

New bill reignites Florida vs. Mexico tensions

The Florida vs. Mexico agriculture dispute is heating up again, as three Florida Congressmen have introduced a bill to protect farmers from competition. The Defending Domestic Produce Production Act would make it easier for Florida farmers to ask the Department of Commerce and the U.S. International Trade Commission to investigate illegal subsidies and dumping of Mexican produce in the United Sates. Produce Blue Book and The Packer.

‘It’s just too much’: A Florida town grapples with a shutdown after a hurricane

A federal prison in Florida’s rural Panhandle lost much of its roof and fence during Hurricane Michael, forcing hundreds of inmates to relocate to a facility in Yazoo City, Miss.. Since then, corrections officers have had to commute there to work, a seven-hour drive, for two-week stints. As of this week, thanks to the partial federal government shutdown, they will be doing it without pay . [Source: New York Times]

See also:
» Federal workers in South Florida face payless paydays as government shutdown drags on

Trend Mention
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ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:

› Appeals court digs into marijuana smoking ban in Florida
Newly minted Gov. Ron DeSantis has indicated he may drop the state’s appeal of a court decision that said a Florida law banning patients from smoking medical marijuana is unconstitutional. But on the same day the Republican successor to former Gov. Rick Scott was sworn into office, lawyers for the state tried to persuade a three-judge panel to uphold the smoking prohibition.

› Parents in Florida may soon get tax break on diapers
Under the proposal, shoppers could avoid paying sales taxes on diapers, incontinence undergarments, incontinence pads and incontinence liners. State analysts have not estimated the overall tax impact of the proposal, according to a Senate staff analysis.

› Carnival Cruise Line delays plan to charge for most room service
Following a torrent of criticism from avid cruisers, Carnival Cruise Line this week said it would indefinitely delay a plan to begin charging customers for most items ordered via room service. Last week, Carnival said its plan to charge $2 to $5 for any room service item except continental breakfast would begin in mid-January.

› SeaWorld's Orlando water park now is a certified autism center
Aquatica Orlando — SeaWorld’s water park — has put staff through training and added more resources for visitors to become an official certified autism center, the company said Tuesday. Read the full announcement here.

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› Chinese discount retailer Miniso coming to Altamonte Mall
Discount Chinese retailer Miniso is making its Florida debut at Altamonte Mall. Miniso, which advertises itself as a “Japanese Lifestyle Brand,” is actually based out of Guangdong, China.

› Wanted: A developer for a prime block in St. Pete's booming Edge District
The city of St. Petersburg is looking for someone to buy and develop a prime piece of property — a block in the booming Edge District. It is not often that an entire urban block becomes available, and "in my opinion there will be a great deal of interest from developers,'' said Patrick Calhoon, a commercial real estate broker.

› Humpback whale sightings very active on Central Florida coast
Terry Clark loves whales. She has such an affinity, she spends many days on her Flagler Beach balcony, gazing through binoculars hoping to see one. Clark is one of 200 volunteer whale spotters, helping Marineland along a 70-mile stretch of Florida coastline.

› Petition seeks to get rejected energy choice proposal on 2020 ballot
Residential and business ratepayers could save as much as $7.5 billion a year by 2030 if Florida joins 18 other states and the District of Columbia in untangling its utility regulations to generate competition in wholesale and retail electric markets.