Wednesday's Daily Pulse
What you need to know about Florida today
Everglades open for oil drilling after court ruling
After nearly four years of legal battles, a Miami family that made its fortune in real estate will now be able to drill an exploratory oil well in the Everglades, just west of the Broward County suburbs. A Tallahassee appeals court reversed a decision by the state’s Department of Environmental Protection Tuesday, ultimately granting Kanter Real Estate the authority to drill. More from the Tampa Bay Times and Florida Politics.
Florida Trend Exclusive
Universal's GOP fest
Republican state legislators and lobbyists seeking to influence them will descend on Universal Orlando this weekend to raise money for the state GOP — just a few weeks before the Florida Legislature gavels open its 2019 session. The pre-session fundraiser at Universal has become an annual tradition for the Republican Party of Florida, which holds majorities in both the state House and Senate and has been holding the event annually for more than a decade. [Source: Florida Trend]
Will film production ever return to Florida? A new bill would let counties dip into tourism funds
State Sen. Linda Stewart wants to bring back incentives for film and TV production in Florida – and she wants to use tourist tax money to do it. “All our movies and all our filming has gone to Georgia or Louisiana, and they’re making a fortune,” said Stewart, D-Orlando. “Films and movies are huge economic drivers.” [Source: Orlando Sentinel]
Tesla gets OK to offer solar panels, roofing leases in Florida
The Florida Public Service Commission announced Tuesday that state residents can purchase solar panels and roofing from Tesla's SolarLease because it does not constitute the sale of electricity. The new lease to Florida homeowners will not cause Tesla to become a public utility under Florida law, which allows the company to proceed with its new venture in the state. More from WKMG and Florida Today.
Marijuana change draws heat in Florida Senate
Gov. Ron DeSantis wants lawmakers to make smokable medical marijuana available in Florida, but the debut of the proposal Monday drew plenty of heat in a Senate committee. DeSantis recently said he was dropping the state’s appeal of a court ruling that found the ban on smokable medical marijuana unconstitutional, giving the Legislature until mid-March to restructure the law created after voters in 2016 overwhelmingly approved medical marijuana. [Source: Sarasota Herald-Tribune]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› Revamped Supreme Court denies hearing, buries Miami Beach minimum wage law
In its most significant decision since newly elected Gov. Rick DeSantis appointed three conservative justices to the bench last month, the Florida Supreme Court Tuesday dismissed Miami Beach’s appeal of a 2017 ruling that invalidated a city ordinance raising the minimum wage.
› Controversial SeaQuest Aquarium gets OK to open in Fort Lauderdale mall
It looks like the controversial SeaQuest Aquarium — an interactive attraction with 1,200 sea creatures, birds and reptiles — is coming to the Galleria mall whether animal activists like it or not.
› Lockheed Martin hiring spree adds 1,000 jobs, boosts work for subcontractors
Frank St. John has a good problem on his hands at Lockheed Martin’s Orlando campus. As the defense giant quickly grows its workforce here – having added more than 1,000 workers since summer 2017 – it has had to build more space to match.
› New report: Tampa Bay area still a bargain compared to other regions
The Tampa Bay area’s housing costs have been on the rise, but in 2018 they were still lower than in other metropolitan areas around Florida and beyond, according to a new analysis. The analysis shows that the bay area last year was one of the nation’s most affordable areas to live.
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