Friday's Afternoon Update
What you need to know about Florida today
Florida leads the nation again in Affordable Care Act signups
Florida is again surging ahead in Affordable Care Act sign ups, with nearly half a million people opting for coverage three weeks into the enrollment period. Since Nov. 1, when the period began, 463,066 Floridians have signed up for health insurance next year under the act, commonly known as Obamacare, according to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services. More from the Tampa Bay Times.
Spirit Airlines driving growth at Tampa International Airport
Even at Tampa International Airport, no stranger to robust growth, Spirit Airlines stands out. Spirit, a low-cost, Florida-based airline, has roughly doubled its size in the past five years, with the number of cities it serves from Tampa growing by 50 percent in two years. More from the Tampa Bay Times.
More Florida millennials plan to “always rent”and forgo purchasing home altogether
A new study by Apartment List finds that 10.2% of Florida millennials plan to “always rent” and forgo purchasing a home altogether. This is share is up from 8.4% in 2018. The study reports findings from 34 metros nationwide, including Florida metros of Tampa, Orlando and Miami. Tampa surpasses the state and national (12.3%) rate of “always rent” millennials, with 14.9% of the metro’s millennials planning to rent forever. More from Florida Trend.
Gov. DeSantis wants to delay state worker health insurance changes
Gov. Ron DeSantis wants to put on hold for another year an overhaul of the health insurance program that provides benefits to more than 366,000 state employees and family members across Florida. A proposed budget released this week by the Republican governor would maintain the same type of coverage that state employees have now, despite a 2017 law that required the program to be revamped effective in January 2020. More from the Tallahassee Democrat.
JEA board to vote in December on axing long-term incentive pay plan
JEA management will recommend eliminating a newly created long-term incentive pay plan when the utility board meets in December, JEA CEO Aaron Zahn said in a letter sent to City Council after council members urged killing the plan. Zahn sent the letter Wednesday to City Council President Scott Wilson, a day after members of the City Council’s Finance Committee heard City Council Auditor Kyle Billy explain how JEA employees could pocket astronomical financial gains. More from the Florida Times-Union.
WeatherSTEM technology alerts of lightning strikes
Tallahassee-based entrepreneur Ed Mansouri has developed technology that provides up-to-the-second alerts of lightning strikes. Mansouri’s WeatherSTEM system consolidates real-time data into a customizable app. Users set a location and are alerted when lightning occurs within a defined radius of the location.
» More from Florida Trend.
Out of the Box
Pasco County school first in world to use synthetic frogs for dissections
For the first time, students at a Florida high school are using realistic man-made frogs as a replacement for dead, formalin-preserved frogs in classroom dissection labs Wednesday. SynDaver®, developer of synthetic human and animal models used for education, surgical simulation and medical device testing, unveiled the SynDaver Synthetic Frog, called SynFrog™, at J.W. Mitchell High School in New Port Richey, Florida.
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