Thursday's Daily Pulse
What you need to know about Florida today
With some effects already evident, coronavirus expected to impact more of Florida's economy
Aside from obvious health concerns, the virus also has the potential to damage Florida’s economy, according to Florida Chamber Foundation Chief Economist Dr. Jerry Parrish. As the disease runs its course, companies are cutting their GDP forecasts, and as 30-year mortgages hit an 8 year low, manufacturers will likely idle down their factories because of supply chain issues. Parrish believes this will have an effect on Florida’s economy. More from the Capitolist and WUSF.
» Virus fears hit South Florida cruise industry: Ports turn away Miami-based ship
» CDC warns Coronavirus 'inevitable' in US as Florida health officials on lookout
» How is South Florida Preparing for the Coronavirus?
» Here's how the coronavirus outbreak may affect Central Florida trade
» Florida Health Department forms Incident Management Team in anticipation of Coronavirus spread
» Disney World, Universal Studios and the U.S. tourism industry brace for coronavirus
Florida House readies to take up proposal mandating employers to verify immigration status
As the legislative session dwindles to its final weeks, Florida House members are set Thursday to consider for the first-time a contentious proposal that would mandate employers do immigration checks on new workers. The push to implement E-Verify, a federal system designed to confirm workers’ legal eligibility, has proven to be a whirlwind legislative effort as Gov. Ron DeSantis makes the issue a top priority. [Source: CBS Miami]
Turtle conservationist Peter Pritchard dies at 76
Florida zoologist Peter Charles Howard Pritchard, whose turtle and tortoise conservation brought international acclaim, and whose persona was of a dashing and ceaselessly curious academic, died Tuesday night in hospice care at age 76. Pritchard’s Chelonian Research Institute in Oviedo contains one of the world’s most comprehensive collections of its kind. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]
Related Florida Trend Exclusive Content:
» Florida Icon: Peter Prichard
Senators keep pushing for Florida Forever money
Senators pressed forward this week with a proposal that would provide $100 million a year for Florida Forever, as the House and Senate go into budget talks far apart on the land-buying program. The Senate Agriculture, Environment and General Government Appropriations Subcommittee backed a proposal (SB 332) by Sen. Linda Stewart, D-Orlando, that would funnel $100 million annually to Florida Forever. More from WFSU and the Center Square.
‘Sense of fear’: Ex-colleagues warn of DeSantis’ surgeon general pick
The doctor that the Florida Senate will soon likely confirm to be the state surgeon general came with strong recommendation letters, according to Gov. Ron DeSantis. But several people who worked with him at the University of Florida and spoke with the Times/Herald said Scott Rivkees was a harsh manager fueled by vindictiveness. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› New SeaWorld CEO sets a familiar course for company
Barely four months on the job, SeaWorld CEO Serge Rivera’s priorities — save money, open new rides, hold more events — isn’t a radical departure from past chiefs who previously ran the Orlando-headquartered company.
› $250,000 Florida Job Growth Grant awarded to Green Cove Springs
Gov. Ron DeSantis announced he is awarding $250,000 to the city of Green Cove Springs for electrical line infrastructure upgrades through the Florida Job Growth Grant Fund. The City of Green Cove Springs will also match the grant with $50,000 and is prepared to immediately begin work on what is projected to be a six-month project.
› Embattled Miami-Dade Expressway Authority bond ratings fall
The battle for control of five tolled Miami-Dade expressways has so impeded their future operations that a major national bond-rating agency last week downgraded $1.3 billion in expressway bonds and issued a negative outlook ahead of a March court date that could partially sort out the mess.
› Gasparilla Festival of the Arts grows in Tampa for 50th anniversary
On Leap Day this Saturday, the Gasparilla Festival of the Arts will make a symbolic move across Tampa’s Hillsborough River for its 50th anniversary. Festival organizers announced the shift to Julian B. Lane Waterfront Park last year. At 25 acres, the new venue is double the size of Curtis Hixon Park and Kiley Garden, where the festival was held for years.
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