Thursday's Daily Pulse
What you need to know about Florida today
Florida's consumer sentiment falls again in August
Consumer sentiment among Floridians dipped for a consecutive month in August to 78.4, dropping 2.1 points from a revised figure of 80.5 in July. Among the five components that make up the index, two increased and three decreased. Floridians’ opinions about their personal finances now compared with a year ago decreased 5.7 points from 73.4 to 67.7, the steepest decline in this month’s reading. Floridians’ expectations about future economic conditions were mixed. [Source: UF News]
More than 12,000 Floridians have died from COVID-19 as new infections still trend downward
Florida officials on Wednesday reported that 200 more residents have died from COVID-19 illness, pushing the pandemic total to 12,115 deaths. The Department of Health’s toll also shows 154 nonresidents have died in the state from the infectious disease. Florida’s report for Wednesday lists 2,056 new infections, which is about the same total on daily tallies all week and continuing a downward trend over the past four weeks. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]
Florida’s $117B maritime industry seeks pandemic aid, but is bullish on growth
The COVID-19 pandemic has cost Florida’s 15 seaports $23 billion in lost economic activity and as many as 170,000 jobs, according to a study financed by the Florida Ports Council (FPC). The analysis of COVID-19’s economic fallout on Florida’s $117.6 billion maritime industry – the nation’s second-largest – was conducted by maritime research company Martin Associates on behalf of FPC’s effort to secure assistance for the nation’s seaports, which have been overlooked in previous federal pandemic assistance packages. [Source: The Center Square]
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis vetoes controversial vaping bill
Saying the proposal would have driven Floridians “to the hazardous black market,” Gov. Ron DeSantis vetoed a measure that would have banned the sale of nearly all flavored electronic-cigarette products and raised the state’s smoking age from 18 to 21. Attorney General Ashley Moody, Senate President Bill Galvano and health organizations such as the American Cancer Society and the American Lung Association pushed the legislation (SB 810), which largely would have brought Florida into compliance with federal laws aimed at curbing teen vaping. [Source: News Service of Florida]
Tropical Storms Paulette, Rene expected to curl northwest
Tropical Storms Paulette and Rene continued to spin in the Atlantic on Wednesday, but both are expected to take northwest turns later this week that will keep them away from Florida. Forecasters also are keeping an eye on a tropical wave expected to move off the African coast on Thursday. They are giving it an 80 percent chance of becoming a tropical cyclone before Monday. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› 1,200 new jobs? A mystery company wants to build million-square-foot center for Isle Casino overhaul
In a move driven by COVID-19, the developer overhauling Isle Casino Racing Pompano Park is asking the city for permission to change its plans so it can include a warehouse and logistics center that could employ 1,200 people. But word of the change raised protests among residents of nearby Cypress Bend and Palm Aire, who complained they never received any notice.
› Swisher launches new corporate identity with shorter name, new logo
Swisher International Inc. is changing its corporate identity to Swisher, signaling “the expansion of the company’s vision, offerings and focus on adult consumer lifestyle.” Swisher began making tobacco products in 1861 and doing it in Jacksonville since 1924. Its plant is at 459 E. 16th St. near Springfield.
› Pasco commissioners give preliminary approval of budget and tax rate
Pasco county commissioners gave their preliminary approval Tuesday to a $1.54 billion spending plan for 2021, up from the current year’s budget of $1.47 billion. There was no public comment during the first of two required public hearings on the plan, which is partially financed through a property tax rate of 9.3308 mills, or $9.33 in tax for every $1,000 in appraised taxable property value.
› Miami-Dade mulling later curfew and more business reopenings amid fewer COVID cases
A little more than a week after allowing indoor dining at restaurants to resume and coming out of a holiday weekend, Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez’s administration is preparing to push the countywide curfew back to 11 p.m. and lift organized sports restrictions at parks.
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