January 28, 2020

Thursday's Daily Pulse

What you need to know about Florida today

| 1/9/2020

Hospital funding in Florida could take a hit

As Florida lawmakers prepare to start the 2020 legislative session, the state is being confronted with a $70.4 million loss in the coming months in the amount of Medicaid money it gets to fund hospitals, train future physicians and treat people who are mentally ill. Amy Baker, who leads the Legislature’s Office of Economic and Demographic Research, is including the reduction --- slated to take effect May 23 --- in budget documents prepared for lawmakers as they begin working on a fiscal 2020-2021 spending plan. [Source: WCTV]

Florida faces potentially crippling nursing shortage

The healthcare industry is scrambling to head off a predicted nursing shortage that could be devastating to patient care. “Baseline forecasts show that Florida will face a shortage of registered nurses by 2025 that is capable of crippling our healthcare system and reducing access to care for Floridians,” according to the Florida Center for Nursing, a workforce center established by state statute. [Source: Miami Today]

Florida faces a rocky rollout to restore voting rights after felony convictions

Florida passed an amendment in 2018, promising to restore voting rights for over a million Floridians with felony convictions. But that hope turned to confusion soon after. The state Legislature followed up with a law clarifying that in order to get their voting rights back, felons needed to pay off all fines and fees related to their convictions. Hundreds of millions of dollars in fines are owed across the state, including $278 million in Miami-Dade County alone. But the same law also offers a way out. [Source: WLRN]

In Florida, homeowners come for the weather and stay for the tax relief

In 183 days, wealthy homeowners can potentially shave tens of thousands of dollars from their tax bills. They can get that same savings the next year and the following years as well. In fact, they can cut their taxes even further after they die. What’s the secret? Moving to Florida. [Source: Wall Street Journal]

Here’s why Florida knows more about its drug-overdose deaths than the feds

Though a surge of opioid-related deaths has been in the public spotlight for years, the federal government’s data on fatal overdoses could be under-counting the actual cost of the epidemic’s devastation in Florida and obscuring the role that other substances have played in contributing to the spike, according to a new study. [Source: Miami Herald]

ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:

› Investment company writes Florida incentive laws, then profits from them
On a Thursday afternoon in the middle of last year’s legislative session, Sen. Bill Montford appeared before a Florida Senate committee to present a $25 million plan that supporters said would help rural and hurricane-stricken areas around the state. Though Montford, D-Tallahassee, never mentioned it by name, one company was orchestrating from behind the scenes: Advantage Capital.

› Susan Scott remembered as a major force in quarter horse industry
As a little girl, Susan Scott fell in love with horses. That love helped her build her family’s Marion County farm into one of the most respected and formidable quarter horse breeding and show operations in the country. Scott and her husband, Stanley, established Haylo Farm in the late 1970s. With Stanley’s careful breeding choices and Susan’s natural horsemanship, the farm prospered, earning numerous awards, including the American Quarter Horse Association’s breeder of the year in 2006.

› Florida's toxic red tide will continue to irk tourists, residents
Like winter turns into spring, Florida's toxic red tide -- lethal to marine life and harmful to tourism -- is sure to return, although no one can say precisely when. Scientists and fishermen have observed the infestation for decades, and there's little likelihood it will be eliminated in the foreseeable future. Efforts are ongoing, though, to wipe out this aquatic menace.

› Florida CEO lived the high life, now his executives face charges over Ponzi-like scheme
A Hallandale Beach-based company ran a multimillion-dollar Ponzi-like scheme that preyed on over 3,400 investors across the country, and it has led to criminal charges against several employees, authorities say. Steven Schwartz, 76, of Delray Beach, was a director and consultant for 1 Global Capital LLC, helping run the $287 million operation that helped support the lavish lifestyle of his boss, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

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