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House bill advances to give University of Florida $2.5M for medical marijuana study

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The University of Florida would get about $2.5 million to study the effectiveness of medical marijuana under a bill that cleared the House Health Care Appropriations Subcommittee Tuesday. HB 3159 by Cape Coral Republican Rep. Dane Eagle is aimed at the compassionate use bill lawmakers approved in 2014, which legalized low-THC, high-cannabidiol marijuana for the treatment of some diseases, such as epilepsy in children. A similar, $1 million UF study was approved by the legislature back in 2015, with that…

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Florida consumer sentiment in February drops from record high

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After three months of positive gains, consumer sentiment among Floridians fell 3.3 points in February to 94.0, according to the latest University of Florida consumer survey. The pattern in Florida is similar to consumer sentiment at the national level, which also dropped 2.2 points in February to 96.3 from January’s record 98.5 according to the University of Michigan’s survey of consumers. “While readings about current economic conditions increased slightly, expectations for the future decreased sharply among Floridians in February,” said…

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Higher education budget chair favors vocational training as voting begins

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The House Higher Education Appropriations Subcommittee OK’d eight member requests for state funds Wednesday, including programs boosting technical training for people not headed to college and a veterinary lab at the University of Florida. As did chairmen of other budget panels reviewing member projects (see here and here), Larry Ahern of the higher ed panel warned members that their votes merely rendered the projects eligible for inclusion in the House version of the appropriations act. It did not guarantee them a place in that bill.…

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In mock court, UF law students argue case echoing infamous FSU ‘Jane Doe’ lawsuit

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The black-robed justices who filed solemnly into a courtroom at the University of Florida law school Thursday morning were not the justices of the U.S. Supreme Court, but they were announced as if they were. “All persons having business before the Honorable, the Supreme Court of the United States, are admonished to draw near and give their attention, for the court is now sitting,” a bailiff boomed out as students, law professors and attorneys with Holland & Knight — the…

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Florida consumer sentiment continues upward climb

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Consumer sentiment among Floridians in January ticked up another one-half point to 97.8 — the highest reading since March 2002 — from December’s record-breaking revised figure of 97.3, according to the latest University of Florida consumer survey. Florida’s upward trend also tracks the national figures released last week by the University of Michigan, with the national consumer sentiment index at the highest level since February 2004. Of the five components that make up the Florida index, three increased and two…

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Florida consumer sentiment soars amid holiday shopping, improved state economy

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Consumer sentiment among Floridians surged up 6.9 points in December to 97.2, according to the latest University of Florida consumer survey. This is the highest reading since March 2015 and the second-highest since February 2004—before the Great Recession of 2008. All five of the components that make up the index increased. Perceptions of one’s personal financial situation now compared with a year ago rose 1.4 points, from 81.5 to 82.9. Opinions as to whether now is a good time to…

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Tom Rooney blasts Weather Channel documentary: Lake O is not ‘toxic’

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A recent Weather Channel documentary alleging Lake Okeechobee “pollution” drew a storm of controversy among Florida scientists, farmers – and at least one U.S. Congressman. “Toxic Lake: The Untold Story of Lake Okeechobee,” an online video posted last week, gives what many call an extremely inaccurate and incomplete picture of the environmental circumstances surrounding Lake O. The nearly 11-minute video places much of the responsibility squarely on the shoulders of Florida’s sugar industry. In the video, Weather Channel reporter Kait…

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