Tuesday's Daily Pulse
What you need to know about Florida today
Florida citrus could finally see federal relief money
Florida lawmakers in both parties had grown frustrated with a lack of relief money following Hurricane Irma, particularly for the state's citrus industry, which was already hard-hit by greening disease. But on Monday, U.S. House Republicans unveiled an $81 billion disaster aid package to help hurricane-ravaged communities and states hit by wildfires. The bill includes $2.6 billion for farm disasters. "It's a big win for Florida's agriculture," said Rep. Tom Rooney, R-Fla. See the bill's substance in a news release from the U.S. House of Representatives, here. Also read more at the Tampa Bay Times and the Orlando Sentinel.
Florida strawberry volume starts strong
Florida strawberry growers have enjoyed a strong start to the 2017-18 season, and early signs point to a year of ample volume and promotion opportunities. Neither Hurricane Irma in September nor a cold spell in mid-December caused any problems for the crop. Full story from the Packer, here.
Climate change’s ‘fingerprints’ could bring another record-setting warm year to Florida
Year-to-date, the average temperature in Florida was 73.7 degrees, making it the warmest year since 2015. It’s a 2.5 degree departure from the 20th century average. A Florida Climate Center official noted the state is on track to have its warmest year on record. [Source: Bradenton Herald]
Florida gaming ruling could put big legal expenses on state
The state could be on the hook for $450,000 in legal fees after a judge sided with cardroom operators in a dispute over controversial “designated player” games. First launched in 2012, the games have become wildly popular among gamblers and are now hosted by most pari-mutuels that operate cardrooms in Florida. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]
Puerto Rico governor vows to make Florida Republicans pay for supporting tax bill
For weeks, Puerto Rican Gov. Ricardo Rosselló and his associates tried to play the Washington game, meeting with politicians and lobbyists across Capitol Hill to argue against provisions in the tax overhaul bill that treat the U.S. territory like a foreign country. [Source: Miami Herald]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› Death of CSX CEO raises questions about reforms at railroad
The weekend death of CSX CEO Hunter Harrison less than a year after he took the railroad's top job raises questions about the future of his reforms. But CSX officials say the 73-year-old Harrison did enough since taking over in March to change the direction of Jacksonville, Florida-based railroad.
› FWC endorses national strategy aimed at conserving fish, wildlife
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) in July endorsed an ambitious national strategy, presented by The Blue Ribbon Panel on Sustaining America’s Diverse Fish and Wildlife Resources, to conserve fish and wildlife.
› St. Pete-Clearwater airport expects holiday parking crunch, so consider arranging a ride
With passenger traffic picking up on Monday and expected to stay strong through Dec. 29, St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport says it could run out of parking spaces, so passengers should consider making arrangements to be dropped off or picked up at the airport.
› Hurricanes, economic blight force increased Puerto Rican migration to First Coast
The number of Puerto Ricans relocating in North Florida from the hurricane-devastated island has reached critical proportions, with organizations helping the migrants now totally overwhelmed and resources being strained.
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