Friday's Daily Pulse
What you need to know about Florida today
Florida high court nixes energy deregulation ballot question
A proposed constitutional amendment that would have deregulated Florida's energy industry won't be on the November ballot after the state Supreme Court ruled Thursday that the ballot language is misleading. The proposal was fought by large utility companies and Attorney General Ashley Moody, among others. The court focused on ballot language that said Floridians would have the right to sell electricity and said that right wasn't expressed in the full amendment language. More from the AP, the Tampa Bay Times, and WJXT.
Florida Trend Exclusive
Community portrait: Tallahassee & Leon County
In the Tallahassee-Leon County area, every day is a perfect day for business, learning, and play. The capital for more than state government, this decidedly different city is the best of Florida progressiveness and Southern charm, all enhanced by natural resources, care for the community, and a quality of life that no other city can boast. [Source: Florida Trend]
Florida lawmaker seeks to shield DNA test results from insurance companies
A powerful House Republican on Thursday filed legislation that would ban insurance companies from using people’s genetic information to cancel, limit or deny life-insurance policies or long-term care coverage. If incoming House Speaker Chris Sprowls is successful, Florida will be the first state in the nation to prohibit life-insurance and long-term care insurance companies from using the information. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]
Opinion: Minimum wage debate -- right time or bad math?
Next November, Floridians will likely have the opportunity to vote on a proposed amendment to the state’s constitution that will increase our minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2026. Supporters say a modest increase in the minimum wage doesn't hurt the economy or kill jobs while opponents claim the increase will kill Florida’s restaurant industry. [Source: Business Observer]
Spirit Airlines breaks ground on Dania Beach headquarters for more than 1,000 workers
Spirit Airlines broke ground Thursday on the company’s new $250 million headquarters in Dania Beach. The company will move from its existing headquarters in Miramar as soon as the 500,000-square-foot building is finished in 2022. Global architecture firm Gensler is designing the building, which will be part of the Dania Pointe mixed-use development close to Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, the airline’s hub. [Source: Miami Herald]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› Central Florida legislators support using hotel taxes for housing and public transit
Central Florida lawmakers are calling for the pot of local tourism taxes — nearly $300 million in Orange County last year — to be used to help solve challenges faced by low-wage tourism workers in light of the Orlando Sentinel’s Laborland series that detailed the region’s affordable housing crisis and failing public transportation system.
› Publix fills 100 millionth free prescription
Publix Super Markets Inc. recently filled its 100 millionth free prescription. According to a press release, the Lakeland-based grocery chain’s Publix Pharmacy division launched a free medication program in 2007 in response to the rising number of deaths and increases in health care costs that result from people not being able to afford prescription drugs.
› South Florida sees swell of new residents moving from high-tax states
There’s new evidence to help show that many Northerners are packing their belongings — and bank accounts — and heading to Florida and other zero income-tax states. Newly released IRS data for 2018 shows Florida — which has no personal income tax — had a 3 percent increase over 2017 in the migration of net personal income — the dollars coming into the county versus what’s going out.
› Graduation rates rise in Florida, but not for all students
Gov. Ron DeSantis applauded an increase in Florida’s graduation rate for 2018-19, but concerns remain about the number of students who finish high school with diplomas. Overall, black and Hispanic students continue to lag white and Asian students in the analysis on graduation rates for 2018-19. And low-income kids and students with disabilities continued to fall below the state average.
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