May 28, 2020

Monday's Daily Pulse

What you need to know about Florida today

| 7/8/2019

Florida may adopt limits on amount of toxins from blue-green algae blooms allowed in waterways

Amid fears of another summer of toxic algae afflicting the state and hurting its economy, officials from the state Department of Environmental Protection say they are considering new regulations on how much of the natural toxins are allowed in the state's waterways. One of the environmental groups that petitioned the state to take the step says it's a welcome move. But state officials and the environmental activists disagree on how the water pollution regulations ought to be employed to combat the algae blooms. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

Florida Trend Exclusive
Florida's tax law exemptions

The story of how Florida taxpayers wound up subsidizing junk mail. The Florida Legislature started charging a sales tax 70 years ago. It’s been handing out tax exemptions ever since. It gave one of the first sales-tax exemptions to an industry that once was among the state’s most influential: Newspapers. Buried deep inside the General Revenue Act of 1949 — tucked between sales tax breaks on garden seeds and film rentals — was a provision declaring newspapers exempt from the sales tax. [Source: Florida Trend]

Florida’s economy is primed for growth, a new report suggests

Florida’s economic outlook will more than double over 30 years, says a new report. The quarterly report is authored by Sean Snaith, a national economist and Director at the University of Central Florida’s Institute for Economic Forecasting. According to Snaith, “The total value of goods and services produced in Florida is expected to increase by more than 2.5 times the current value, reaching more than $4.6 trillion by 2049.” [Source: Florida Politics]

Ready or not, a Miami entrepreneur is trying to get funeral prices online

A Miami entrepreneur is on a mission to make shopping for a funeral home as easy as ordering off Amazon Prime. But funeral homes may not be ready for the digital market. In a survey of 211 funeral homes in 25 cities, only 27 percent of funeral homes with websites posted any prices online, according to a report compiled by the Funeral Consumers Alliance and the Consumer Federation of America in 2018. And only 16 percent posted a full general price list. [Source: Miami Herald]

Felons challenge new voting law in Florida

As a group of felons challenge a new Florida law that requires them to pay all fines and fees before getting their voting rights restored, their attorneys say they need a court decision well before this fall's off-year elections. The attorneys said Friday during a telephone hearing, and earlier in court papers, that they need the federal court in Tallahassee to act before a voter registration deadline in October. Some Florida municipalities hold elections in November. [Source: AP]


› Innovation Square under new leadership
University of Florida Innovate leaders have taken over management responsibilities for Innovation Square; and in doing so, hope to create a more diverse, sprawled Innovation District. Jim O’Connell, assistant vice president for commercialization at UF Innovate, the umbrella term for UF’s innovation efforts, will assume responsibility for the management of Innovation Square. Mark Long, director of incubation services at UF Innovate’s business incubator The Hub, will also manage Innovation Square.

› There’s a small chance of a tropical system forming in the Gulf of Mexico next week.
Foul weather fueled by a low pressure area in the Gulf of Mexico could soon batter the Florida Panhandle, still recovering from last year’s devastating hurricane season, forecasters say. There’s no need to panic yet, as computer models don’t agree on much except for increased rain in the area, meteorologists say. But the evolving forecast comes as a reminder to remain alert.

› Need a computer or camera? The defunct Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale is selling off everything.
The tools of the trade that led to countless careers in the worlds of media, fashion and culinary arts soon will be auctioned off at the now-defunct Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale. The decades-old school on 17th Street Causeway shut its doors and filed for bankruptcy last year amid the financial troubles of a national network of sister institutes.

› More public money sought to keep eager producers filming in Tampa Bay
Producers are tearing through the half-million dollars in television- and film-incentive money budgeted this year in both Hillsborough and Pinellas counties, so county leaders will be asked to add more to the pot for next year. It’s only July, and Pinellas already has $300,000 more in incentive requests than it has money available. In Hillsborough, there’s a shortfall of $52,000.

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Mega pantries already operate in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties, serving an average of almost 4,000 people every week.
Mega pantries already operate in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties, serving an average of almost 4,000 people every week.

Feeding Tampa Bay opened the new drive-through food bank — dubbed a mega-pantry — in Manatee County in response to an all-time high demand for meals and groceries from local food banks.

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