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Wednesday's Daily Pulse

Gov. DeSantis signs bill that would allow Florida to pursue importing prescription drugs

Citing the need to reduce rising health care costs, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill Tuesday that would allow Florida to pursue importing prescription drugs from abroad — though components of the bill will still require federal approval to take effect. HB 19 will open up three pathways for bringing medication in from different countries, including Canada, through a 2003 federal law that tasks federal officials with authorizing state plans to import prescription drugs. See the announcement from Gov. DeSantis and read more from the Tampa Bay Times, the Miami Herald, and the Orlando Sentinel.

Attorney fees take a hit under new Florida law

A new Florida law to curb alleged fraud by contractors could create collateral damage for lawyers by slashing attorney fees in insurance litigation — and all just in time for hurricane season. Before May 23, contractors could enjoy a one-way attorney fee privilege. It meant win or lose, they wouldn’t be liable for attorney fees if they sued an insurer to collect insurance benefits that homeowners had assigned to them in exchange for doing repairs. [Source: Daily Business Review]

Effort to change Florida’s primary system gets $2.25 million boost

Moving quickly to collect petition signatures for a proposed constitutional amendment about changing Florida’s primary-election system, a political committee last month raised — and spent — more than $2 million, according to a new finance report. Under the proposal, all registered voters would be able to cast ballots in primaries, regardless of political affiliation. The two candidates getting the most votes in each primary would advance to the general election. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

Florida companies lure talent by relieving student debt

College graduation season should remain a time of happiness and hope. But the reality is most grads really need to think about paying off those student loans nearly minutes after they take off that cap and gown. More companies — including some in Florida — are starting to realize the financial stress facing student loan borrowers. And some employers have added benefits programs to help pay down student loans. [Source: Miami Herald]

Florida to resume payments to company that botched SunPass billing changes

Officials at Florida’s Department of Transportation said Monday they will resume paying the company that botched last year’s rollout of the new SunPass system. Conduent State & Local Solutions will start getting paid by the state each month, like it was before the company took over processing transactions on Florida’s SunPass tollways. But some of those payments might be smaller than the company anticipated. See the official announcement here and read more from the Miami Herald.


Florida Trend Exclusive
› West Palm Beach's Norton Museum sees record number of visitors after $100-million expansion
In February and March, the Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach hosted 66,000 visitors, a record for any two-month period in the museum’s history and more than double its best two months ever. The months, not coincidentally, happened to be the first since the museum unveiled a $100-million expansion and makeover that won Norton acclaim in architectural reviews nationally.

› MTV's 'Floribama Shore' filming Season 3 in St. Petersburg
Get ready for beach sand-flecked, alcohol-induced, reality TV drama on the streets of St. Petersburg. MTV's Floribama Shore series is moving south from Panama City to Tampa Bay for its third season.

› The largest online pet store in the U.S. — based in Broward — is going public
In 2011, online pet retailer MrChewy.com was just a pup of a startup, though a fast-growing one, with a few million dollars in sales in its first several months. Fast-forward to this week, and the company, now officially Chewy Inc., is set to begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange Friday in an initial public offering, with an expected valuation in the billions.

› Florida Sports Foundation granted events in June expected to bring nearly 107,922 visitors and $107.8 million to Florida
During the month of June 2019, the Florida Sports Foundation, a Division of Enterprise Florida, Inc., proudly supports nine events, projected to bring approximately 107,922 visitors and $107.8 million in economic impact to the state, through its quarterly grant program.

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› Rapper bringing Notorious Creamery ice cream shop to Fort Lauderdale’s Flagler Village
Fort Lauderdale’s ever-growing Flagler Village has gained its biggest tenant yet in Notorious Creamery, a new ice cream shop from Grammy-nominated rapper Tory Lanez. The frozen treat shack at 908 N. Flagler Drive will debut at noon Saturday, June 15, inside the Hive, a honeycomb of mural-covered warehouses behind Searstown.

› With toxic blue-green algae bloom, don't eat Lake Okeechobee fish, Audubon biologist says
People shouldn't eat fish caught anywhere in Lake Okeechobee after a blue-green algae bloom near the center tested positive for hazardous toxin levels, an Audubon Florida biologist said Monday. A bloom sampled June 5 in the open water about 10 miles southwest of Port Mayaca contained the toxin microcystin at a level of 17.6 parts per billion, according to test results the Florida Department of Environmental Protection released Monday.

› Florida lawmakers propose making Pulse nightclub a national memorial
Florida lawmakers have introduced federal legislation to designate the Pulse nightclub a national memorial, almost three years after dozens of people were killed in a mass shooting at the Orlando site. Democratic Florida Reps. Darren Soto, Stephanie Murphy and Val Demings on Monday announced House Resolution 3094 in front of a temporary memorial that honors the victims of what’s considered the deadliest act of violence against the LGBT community in U.S. history.

› Commissioner Nikki Fried Announces New Medical Marijuana Advisory Committee
The new 18-member committee will convene telephonically and in-person bimonthly to work through ways to expand patient access, increase innovation and technology in the industry, and make recommendations to the Legislature and the Department of Health's Office of Medical Marijuana Use to improve Florida's medical marijuana policies and programs. Cannabis Director Holly Bell will be responsible for overseeing the organization of the committee.