Thursday's Daily Pulse
What you need to know about Florida today
The nightmare scenario for Florida's coastal homeowners
Officials and residents in Florida are grappling with the risk that climate change could drag down housing markets. The effects of climate-driven price drops could ripple across the economy, and eventually force the federal government to decide what is owed to people whose home values are ruined by climate change. [Source: Bloomberg]
The budget battle in the Sunshine economy
With three weeks left before the end of the regularly scheduled legislative session, the two chambers of the Florida Legislature are about $4 billion apart on their spending plans. While the gap is closing, the fundamental position of the top budget lawmaker in the House is to shrink state spending. The final 2017 state budget is scheduled to be completed by May 2. [Source: WLRN]
Skilled workers wanted, but costly in South Florida
Half of more than 300 South Florida employers surveyed say they’re finding it difficult to find employees who have the technical and soft skills they need, according to a new tri-county Workforce Skills Gap report. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]
Florida wildlife officials say there should be no bear hunt this year
Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission director Nick Wiley said during a quarterly meeting that while the agency believes science and population numbers support another bear hunt, there is still more work to do to convince the public. [Source: WKMG] The Commission issued this statement:
"As shown by today’s staff presentation on population, habitat, human-bear conflict and outreach, we have a long-standing, proactive approach to bear management and will continue to build on that existing foundation. We will continue implementing our comprehensive approach to bear management. We directed staff to bring back a revised bear management plan in two years, including hunting as a management tool."
- Brian Yablonski, Chairman, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
Another session will end with the reviled write-in loophole intact
Another year will pass without lawmakers closing the notorious "write-in loophole" that candidates, consultants and political parties use to manipulate election outcomes by preventing independent voters from having a voice in primary elections in all 67 counties. [Source: Times/Herald]
› Venezuelan humanitarian crisis spills into South Florida's immigration courts
Immigration authorities reported that 18,155 Venezuelans submitted asylum requests last year, a 150 percent increase over 2015. There were 2,334 requests in December alone.
› Can Chewy.com remain special after it's acquired by PetSmart?
It’s been a wild and fast ride for Ryan Cohen and Michael “Blake” Day, co-founders of Dania Beach-based online pet supply retailer Chewy.com. Less than a decade ago, they were a pair of computer nerds pooling their money to start an online jewelry business.
› Florida may scrap auto insurance law
Florida may change the kinds of auto insurance drivers must purchase. The Florida House on Wednesday voted 89-29 to repeal a requirement that motorists carry a type of auto insurance known as personal injury protection. Read more about HB 1063 - Motor Vehicle Insurance, here.
› PortMiami traffic with Asia rises 11%
PortMiami, which was dredged to 50 feet last year in anticipation of a widened Panama Canal, can now welcome up to six Post-Panamax vessels a week, which has translated into an uptick in the port’s cargo business side of operations.
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