October 17, 2019

Tuesday's Daily Pulse

What you need to know about Florida today

| 9/17/2019

Gov. DeSantis introduces statewide financial technology initiatives

Gov. Ron DeSantis joined business and government executives in Jacksonville Monday to outline new plans to prepare workers for financial technology jobs that could become central to Florida's growth. “We’re going to have a partnership between our state colleges, the financial technology companies here [and] perhaps our universities to provide workforce training to help prepare our students in this emerging industry,” he said during a visit to the Jax Chamber that underscored the area’s growing ties to financial technology businesses. State and city development offices were already putting a premium on recruiting businesses like that. More from the Florida Times-Union, CBS Miami, First Coast News, and see the announcement from Gov. DeSantis.

Synthetic marijuana found in CBD sold in Florida

An Associated Press investigation shows a dark side to booming sales of the cannabis extract CBD. Some people are substituting cheap and dangerous street drugs for the real thing. The practice of spiking CBD vapes with synthetic marijuana has sent dozens of people nationwide to emergency rooms. Unlike real CBD, the street drug gives an intense high. [Source: AP]

The fight for the Latino vote in Florida

The Latino electorate is younger, more numerous, and more diverse than ever before, with largely progressive views on health-care and social-justice issues. These trends should work in favor of the Democrats. Still, the Presidential election is more than a year away, and disaffection with Republicans is hardly a guarantee of Democratic votes. Florida Democrats remain bitterly divided over how they lost statewide races in 2018, and many have complained that the national Party leadership is not investing enough resources in voter-outreach and registration efforts. [Source: New Yorker]

Who has the highest paid statewide jobs in Florida? Hint: They wear robes at work.

Florida Supreme Court justices are the highest-paid statewide officials, with their salaries substantially higher than the amounts paid to the governor, state Cabinet members and legislators. According to the state budget and the Legislature’s Office of Economic and Demographic Research, here are the 2019-20 salaries for a variety of state officials and judges. [Source: Miami Herald]

As Florida lawmakers face more pressure on guns, is the NRA up for the fight?

Florida lawmakers returning to Tallahassee will confront mounting expectations that they do something about the wave of gun violence and summer of mass shootings across the country. Gun reform activists are organized and well-funded. Retailers are banning guns from stores and pulling ammo off shelves. Poll after poll shows Americans think it should be harder to buy a firearm and a majority think certain weapons, the ones most used in extreme acts of violence, should be banned outright. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:

› Hurricane Dorian prompted a 40% drop in Orlando hotel stays
Orlando’s tourism industry took a hit last month as hotel occupancy rates plunged by more than 40% when Hurricane Dorian threatened — but ultimately missed — Central Florida. The worst of it came Aug. 31, when the occupancy rate fell by 41.9% compared with the same day in 2018, according to the research firm STR. According to the data, revenue on Aug. 31 dropped 43% over 2018.

› As Starke bypass opens, businesses scramble to be seen
A truck route bypassing downtown Starke is complete after two years of construction, and the city’s business community is looking for ways to keep customers coming. The $90 million construction project, which started in August 2017, has resulted in a 7.3 mile stretch of road with a new, four-lane road.

› Funding feud leads to slimmer Fort Lauderdale lineup at SoBe Wine & Food Fest; Palm Beach presence grows
It appears that Fort Lauderdale is going on a South Beach diet. The sprawling bacchanal known as the South Beach Wine & Food Festival returns Feb. 19-23 with more than 100 events, but the Broward component for 2020 will be leaner by half after a funding fight has left an anticipated $75,000 contribution from the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau in limbo.

› Wynwood’s Bakehouse art center wants to rezone to build affordable housing for artists
For 33 years, the Bakehouse Art Complex in Wynwood has provided artists with inexpensive studio space, workshops and exhibition galleries. Now it plans to go one big step further — by adding affordable housing to the mix.

Go to page 2 for more stories ...

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