April 9, 2015 Updated: April 9, 2015 at 5:16 pm
Your daily look at news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today.
FLORIDA HOUSE PASSES NEARLY $700 MILLION TAX CUT PACKAGE
The Florida House is backing a nearly $700 million tax cut package. The House on Thursday overwhelmingly approved a bill that includes a long list of tax cuts and tax breaks. The legislation includes a substantial cut in the taxes charged on cellphones and cable television bills. The bill also authorizes a three-day back to school sales tax holiday and exempts college textbooks from sales taxes. The tax cut bill passed by a 112-3 vote. It's not clear, however, what taxes the Florida Legislature will cut this year.
FLORIDA BILL WOULD LET ADOPTION AGENCIES REFUSE GAY COUPLES
Private adoption agencies in Florida would be able to turn away gay couples based on religious and moral beliefs under a bill the House passed. The House voted 75-38 on Thursday for the bill, sending it to the Senate. It was a response to a backlash from social conservatives after the House passed a separate adoption bill last month that stripped a gay adoption ban from state law. That law hasn't been enforced since it was found unconstitutional five years ago.
SOUTH FLORIDA VOTERS MAY GET CHANCE TO VOTE ON CASINOS
South Florida voters may get a chance to tell legislators whether they want Las-Vegas styled casinos. A Florida House panel on Thursday voted in favor of a stripped-down gambling bill. Legislators removed a provision to allow two casinos in Miami-Dade and Broward counties, but agreed to let county commissioners hold referendums on whether casinos should be allowed. Rep. Ritch Workman said he wants to know if people in "downtown Miami" support a casino.
OFFICIALS: ORLANDO WAS TOP US TOURIST DESTINATION IN 2014
More than 62 million visitors came to Orlando last year, making the theme-park mecca the most-visited tourist destination in the U.S., city tourism officials said Thursday. The 2014 visitor count sets a new milestone for the U.S. tourism industry and was a 5 percent increase from the previous year, according to local tourism agency Visit Orlando. In a statement, U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow called passing the mark of 60 million visitors a year "a significant achievement for Orlando and the U.S. travel industry."
CHARTER FLIGHTS PLANNED BETWEEN ORLANDO AND CUBA
Charter flights will start this summer between Orlando and Cuba. Officials at Orlando International Airport on Thursday said Island Travel and Tours will begin nonstop flights to Cuba in July. The company plans to use Boeing 737-300 aircraft with a capacity of 120 passengers — 112 in coach and eight in first class. Travelers to Cuba will need to get prior approval from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency.