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May 24, 2019

Thursday's Daily Pulse

What you need to know about Florida today

| 5/9/2019

Florida officials to hold summit on luring military's U.S. Space Command

Government officials in Florida have organized a summit to launch a campaign aimed at attracting the new Space Command military branch to the state. The purpose is "to assure we incorporate all of Florida's extensive capabilities, talent and resources to best respond to the requirement soon to be generated," according to a notice sent out by Space Florida, the state's economic development agency for space. More from UPI and Florida Politics.

South Florida population growth slows for a second year, Census data shows

People are still flocking to South Florida, but not at the rate they used to, according to recent estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau. For the second year in a row, the rate of population growth has dropped in Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties, the figures show. Growth rates in Broward and Miami-Dade were lower than any year since at least 2011. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]

Fight for cheaper drugs from Canada heads from Florida to Washington

The battle over whether to allow state programs and Floridians to have access to prescription drugs imported from Canada has already been waged in the Legislature, but it is now shifting from the halls of Tallahassee to Washington, D.C. Meanwhile, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, a powerful industry group known as PhRMA, is gearing up to fight federal approval of the Florida plan. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]

Is Florida going green? New leaders highlight environmental agendas

Florida’s new governor and agriculture commissioner are vowing to work together to combat pollution that contributed to a massive algae bloom that fouled the state’s waters last summer. The goal is to avoid another environmental crisis that kills marine life and soils Florida’s reputation as a pristine vacation wonderland. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]

Lawsuit challenges use of solitary confinement in Florida prison system

Florida is an “outlier” in prison systems across the nation when it comes to the use of solitary confinement, according to a 90-page federal lawsuit filed Wednesday that alleges the state Department of Corrections is violating the constitutional rights of inmates. The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Tallahassee by the Southern Poverty Law Center, Florida Legal Services and the Florida Justice Institute, accuses the department of violating a constitutional ban on cruel and unusual punishment and violating the Americans with Disabilities Act.[Source: Miami Herald]

ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:

› DeSantis, state contingent ready for Israel trip
In his quest to become the most “pro-Israel” governor in the nation, Gov. Ron DeSantis this month will lead a first-ever Florida Cabinet meeting in Israel as part of a week-long trip in which he is also scheduled to talk with executives who might want to do business in the Sunshine State.

› Miami Beach hotels seek yearlong delay to arm housekeepers with panic buttons
In July 2018 the Miami Beach City Commission unanimously passed a law requiring hotels to arm housekeepers with panic buttons to protect against sexual harassment and assault by Aug. 1, 2019. Now some Miami Beach hotels are asking the commission to delay the ordinance by a year.

› Nationwide timeshare scam based in Tampa Bay claims millions — plus one lawyer’s reputation
For years, a telemarketing fraud ring based in the Tampa Bay area targeted owners desperate to unload timeshares. Many of the victims were elderly, and some had wired as much as $16,000, never to see it again. Cracking the scam — which has netted the fraudsters at least $2.2 million — would take the work of the St. Petersburg Police Department, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the FBI.

› Orlando and Lakeland coal power plant set to retire
An aging coal plant owned by Lakeland and Orlando is slated to be shuttered within five years, furthering the demise of electricity produced from coal-powered generators and heightening attention toward a pair of power plants in Orange County.

Go to page 2 for more stories ...

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