May 28, 2020

Monday's Daily Pulse

What you need to know about Florida today

| 1/13/2020

Florida Trend Exclusive
Economic outlook: A snapshot of Florida

This year, Florida Trend’s Economic Outlook focuses on specific issues — from economic development and public safety to transportation and education — that challenge the cities and counties across the state, assessing whether progress has been made in each category. The Economic Outlook package also includes people to watch in each region and news from all of Florida’s 67 counties. [Source: Florida Trend]

From coconut patties to guns, Florida lawmakers ready for session

The 60-day Florida legislative session that begins Tuesday will have lawmakers considering everything from coconut patties to a state budget expected to exceed $90 billion. While the budget is the only thing the Legislature is constitutionally required to pass each year, there are already about 3,000 bills filed, including about 1,600 that seek to stuff local projects into the budget. [Source: AP]

Related Florida Trend Content
» The Issues: Florida's 2020 legislative preview

Florida Trend -- In Focus

Are you a Florida business professional with some tried and true insight to share? Florida Trend wants to hear from you! This year we’re debuting a new question and answer series called In Focus asking experts and professionals in Florida's business community to share real life lessons, tips and experiences they’ve learned along the way. Click to submit your answer to this week's question: What’s one lesson you wish you knew early on in your career?

From Utah to Florida, states boost spending on new roads

Buoyed by a recovering economy and increases in their revenue, states from Utah to Florida are pumping more money into transportation projects to speed up traffic-clogged highways and modernize aging infrastructure. The 50 states collectively spent $113.2 billion on transportation in fiscal year 2019, a 9% jump from the previous year, according to the National Association of State Budget Officers. It was the biggest jump since 2015, and transportation industry trackers said they expect spending boosts to continue in 2020. [Source: Wall Street Journal]

Several Florida property insurers face ratings downgrade

A private agency that scores the financial health of insurance companies is planning on downgrading its ratings for nearly half of the 40 Florida property insurers it grades. The driving reason, Demotech Inc. said, are economic conditions for all insurers following the heavy storm seasons since 2016. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:

› Will Puerto Ricans new to Florida swing state to Democrats?
The influx of Puerto Ricans, who are American citizens, to Florida has changed the number and the character of Florida’s Hispanic vote. One of the most important issues in the 2020 election will be whether those changes will ratify Florida’s status as a swing state and show the power of the Hispanic vote in Democratic politics or affirm the presidency of Donald Trump.

› Disney Aspire keeps growing to add more schools for employees’ free education
Disney has added Purdue University Global and Southern New Hampshire University to its list of schools where the company’s hourly employees can get their education paid for. The two new schools are now part of the 13 institutions where employees can attend with Walt Disney Co. paying 100% of the tuition as well as fees and book expenses upfront in an initiative called Disney Aspire.

› Miami’s first major health-tech startup of the century has just been sold
CareCloud, the first major Miami-based health IT startup to garner significant venture capital this century, has been sold. New Jersey-based MTBC, an electronic health-records group, announced the acquisition Friday. The terms include $17 million in cash and 760,000 in preferred Class A shares for a total valuation of at least $36 million.

› Dollar amount of offers for JEA remain a mystery
As JEA rolls out documents from closed-door sales talks, bidders who spent months angling to buy the utility are invoking state law to prevent JEA from releasing information that would answer one of the biggest questions about the canceled sales process. How many billions of dollars would Jacksonville have gotten from selling the “crown jewel” of city government?

Go to page 2 for more stories ...

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Florida Trend Video Pick

Mega pantries already operate in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties, serving an average of almost 4,000 people every week.
Mega pantries already operate in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties, serving an average of almost 4,000 people every week.

Feeding Tampa Bay opened the new drive-through food bank — dubbed a mega-pantry — in Manatee County in response to an all-time high demand for meals and groceries from local food banks.

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