May 24, 2020

Wednesday's Daily Pulse

What you need to know about Florida today

| 9/18/2019

Florida searches for a new way to financially brace for hurricanes

A new way to financially brace for hurricanes will be part of budget talks among Florida lawmakers, who are looking at having a slowdown in tax dollars coming into the state the next couple of years. Members of the House Appropriations Committee said Monday they need to discuss changes to hurricane funding after getting an updated economic forecast from Amy Baker, who leads the Legislature’s Office of Economic and Demographic Research. [Source: Pensacola News Journal]

See also:
» Hurricane Michael: There are still 18,000 open claims. Florida lawmakers want answers.
» One year later, Florida county’s schools still reeling from Hurricane Michael

Florida Trend Exclusive
Florida Icon: Former chief justice of the Florida Supreme Court Fred Lewis

Fred Lewis talk about what shaped his life and what it means to be a judge: “A judge must not only be independent of politics, but the judge must be independent of himself or herself. None of us should stand and vote on a decision on a case based upon on what we want it to be. It needs to follow the law. The politics of the day are spoiling the institutions that protect our freedoms.” [Source: Florida Trend]

Hepatitis A hitting Florida harder than other states

Hepatitis A is striking Florida in a more deadly fashion than in other states, and the situation is getting so bad that Florida is offering free socks and bus passes to encourage homeless people to get vaccinated. Florida Surgeon General Scott Rivkees, who doubles as secretary of the state Department of Health, told a Senate health care committee Tuesday that 40 people in Florida have died from the virus, giving the state a 1.3 percent fatality rate, compared to the national average of 1 percent. [Source: CBS Miami]

Florida hemp cultivation permits to be issued by early 2020

Earlier in 2019, Florida lawmakers approved the state’s first industrial hemp program, and expectations were high. Branded as a savior for the slumping agricultural sector, the hope was crops could be planted this year, launching a multi-billion dollar industry. [Source: Florida Politics]

Small harvest leaves Florida stone crabbers in a pinch

There is one more victim of the red tide outbreak that plagued Florida’s Gulf Coast last year. This season’s stone crab harvest is among the state's lowest, according to seafood industry experts. Estimates show only 1.9 million pounds were collected during the season, reports The season ran from Oct. 15, 2018 to May 15, 2019. An average season ranges between 2.5 and 3.2 million pounds. [Source: WGCU]


› Gainesville residents have least debt load in Florida, study finds
Gainesville ranks as the least debt-ridden city in Florida, according to data collected by online lender LendingTree. Gainesville, home of the University of Florida and Santa Fe College, showed lower median personal debt in almost every major debt category — except for student loans. The residents had median debt of $13,675. That means half of residents have more debt and half had less.

› Tampa Bay Lightning taps Cigar City Brewing as craft beer partner
The Tampa Bay Lightning has tapped Cigar City Brewing to bring its Jai Alai, Guayabera and Florida Cracker beers to Amalie Arena as the team’s official craft beer partner. “An iconic Tampa brand," Lightning chief executive officer Steve Griggs said in an announcement of the multi-year partnership.

› OnePULSE Foundation announces $3.5 million land deal for museum
The onePULSE Foundation, working to memorialize victims of the 2016 mass shooting at an Orlando nightclub, has bought a $3.5 million piece of land for a future museum, leaders announced this week. The 1.75-acre property at 438 West Kaley St. is several blocks from the former Pulse nightclub in a mostly industrial area near Interstate 4.

› MSC Cruises will move ship to Tampa in 2020, expanding its U.S. presence
MSC Cruises will be sailing out of Tampa starting next year. The cruise company with U.S. headquarters in South Florida will move its MSC Armonia ship to home port in Tampa in November 2020. The move further expands the company’s U.S. presence, currently limited to New York and Miami.

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Fort Lauderdale gyms reopened briefly before ordered to close
Fort Lauderdale gyms reopened briefly before ordered to close

Fort Lauderdale gyms The Fitness District and CrossFit Increase open following strict guidelines on Wednesday, May 20, 2020. Mayor Dean Trantalis would order them to remain closed later that evening.

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