Monday's Daily Pulse
What you need to know about Florida today
Florida disasters command huge share of state spending
Disasters which rocked Florida last year are now complicating efforts to finalize a new state spending plan, with Hurricane Michael recovery and work to ease toxic water outbreaks commanding a huge share of the $90-billion budget. As a result, money for schools is tight. Some hospitals are facing cuts. And even the tax-break package the Republican majority traditionally touts has been downsized to make money available for environmental work across the state and rebuild the devastated eastern Panhandle. [Source: Gainesville Sun]
» Much on lawmakers’ plate as session nears end
Florida Trend Exclusive
Florida urban real estate and gentrification
Gentrification looms in Orlando’s Little Vietnam neighborhood. It’s the same sort of problem facing other ethnic and cultural enclaves in the cities around Florida, where urban redevelopment threatens to wipe away the unique character of places like the warehouse district and Little San Juan neighborhood in Miami’s Wynwood and St. Petersburg’s Central Avenue. [Source: Florida Trend]
DeSantis continues push for Space Force base despite reports ruling out Florida's chances
Gov. Ron DeSantis and other state officials aren’t aborting pursuit of the operational command of Space Force, despite a report Florida isn’t on the U.S. Air Force’s short list of potential bases. Trump this year signed a directive --- Space Policy Directive 4 --- ordering the Pentagon to draft legislation for Congress that would create the Space Force as a part of the U.S. Air Force, which currently manages the space domain through the U.S. Space Command. [Source: WUSF]
Can better data fix Florida’s prisons?
Last year, the Sunshine State became the first in the country to require its jails, prosecutors, public defenders, courts and prisons to coordinate data collection, enabling lawmakers and the public to track how someone moves through the entire criminal justice system, from arrest to release. The new information will be sent to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, which will publish it online. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]
Facial recognition is spreading at cruise and airports. Should you worry about your privacy?
Say goodbye to standing in long lines clutching boarding passes and other travel documents. In Florida, facial recognition systems are popping up at airports and seaports. But privacy advocates don’t want you to become too comfortable. They worry that what we’re willing to accept for convenience sake today will soften our resistance to the idea of filling public spaces with cameras that can identify us and track our every move. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› Walton County is Florida's fastest growing local economy
While South Walton businesses are a huge contribution to making Walton County Florida’s fastest growing local economy, commissioners say North Walton County is seeing a lot of action as well.
› SeaWorld lays off undisclosed number of workers in 'efficiency' move
Even with SeaWorld’s finances improving, the company laid off an undisclosed number of employees Friday, said a spokeswoman, who called it a move toward greater efficiency. “Like most companies, we regularly evaluate operations to ensure we are properly organized for performance and efficiency,” Suzanne Pelisson-Beasley said Saturday.
› Alternative fuel company opens $20 million Plant City factory
MLMC turns combustible waste such as paper, wooden pallets, cardboard, plastic wrap, foam, bubble wrap, film and assorted packaging into fuel cubes that it sells as a cleaner alternative to coal.
› Amazon's Orlando warehouse features dance among 1,500 humans and hundreds of robots
Every order from an Amazon customer starts an elaborate dance between workers and robots at the company’s new warehouse south of Orlando International Airport. For the first time last week, Amazon opened the doors on the facilities for a tour, showing how 1,500 employees there deliver everything “from A to Z” in two days or less to Central Floridians.
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