April 7, 2020

Monday's Daily Pulse

What you need to know about Florida today

| 2/24/2020

Florida lawmakers back deregulation efforts

The proposals would reduce or eliminate regulations on professions ranging from hair braiders and hair wrappers to boxing announcers and timekeepers. In a closely watched issue, the proposals include a voluntary certificate of registration process for interior designers. Also, local governments would be barred from prohibiting the operation of food trucks. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]

Florida fishermen fret as shark fin sale ban moves forward

In the U.S., shark finning — the gruesome process of stripping living sharks of their fins, dumping the fish back in the water and leaving them to struggle for life, drown or bleed to death — has been outlawed since the Shark Finning Prohibition Act was signed into law by President Bill Clinton on Dec. 21, 2000. Many states since then have also banned the import, export and sale of fins, which is different from finning but nonetheless controversial. Two bills — HB 401 and SB 680 — are currently moving through the Florida legislature to ban all fin sales. [Source: Walton Sun]

Report: Florida budget vastly unprepared for next recession

The sunshine state faces a not so sunny outlook if, or more to the point, when, the next recession descends upon the state. That’s because Florida lacks adequate revenue to manage an economic downturn without raising taxes or cutting services, according to a new study from Moody’s Analytics. [Source: Business Observer]

‘Coronavirus can’t kill the industry.’ China cruise market here to stay, analysts say

In the midst of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, Chinese ports are shuttered, and Miami-based cruise companies have re-positioned ships to other parts of the world, temporarily halting the China cruising that was meant to be a boon for the industry. The largest three cruise companies — Carnival Corporation, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. — have all warned investors that the coronavirus, a respiratory disease that originated in China and is responsible for more than 2,000 deaths, will impact 2020 profits. But sector analysts say China cruising is here to stay despite the disease. [Source: Miami Herald]

Blame for Florida’s nonprofit pay scandal points to state officials as hearings start

In an extraordinary meeting Monday, 10 current and former members of the board of directors of the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence and two top executives will have the opportunity to explain their actions to legislators as they attempt to avoid criminal charges stemming from allegations of financial abuse at the embattled publicly-funded agency. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]


› Making use of spring training to promote Sarasota-Manatee
For area tourism boosters, Spring Training translates into a marketing bonanza that brings first-time visitors who stay in area lodging, eat at restaurants, visit other attractions and spend at other businesses. A favorable impression can result in return visits, with some deciding to buy real estate and become snowbirds or full-time residents. At the same time, economic development officials seek to maximize the networking potential that leisurely spring games offer by bringing in potential business partners.

› Officials are cracking down on turtle smugglers in Florida
Florida wildlife officials are increasingly concerned the state’s turtles are being scooped up by smugglers feeding an international demand for the freshwater and terrestrial reptiles. Turtle launderers, who “wash” wild-caught animals through illegal trafficking rings like ill-gotten cash, have been targeted by Florida Fish and Wildlife since a 2009 rule banned the commercial harvest and sale of natural-born turtles.

› Union prefers Tampa Bay Rays stay put but could approve Montreal plan
Baseball’s players union would prefer the Rays find a full time, long-term home in the Tampa Bay area, but under the right terms, it could approve the plan to split future seasons with Montreal, executive director Tony Clark said. Since the Rays first proposed the radical season-sharing plan in June, and as they have escalated that pitch in recent months, there has been a significant question about the position of the union, which would have to okay such an arrangement.

› Orlando Museum of Art director’s exit followed behind-the-scenes turmoil
Director Glen Gentele’s abrupt departure from Orlando Museum of Art last week caught many on the arts scene by surprise. But his resignation, announced Monday, Feb. 17, follows tumultuous times behind the scenes at the 96-year-old institution, with former trustees and staff members blaming much of the turmoil directly on Gentele.

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