Tuesday's Afternoon Update
What you need to know about Florida today
Florida starts issuing $300 unemployment checks, but thousands are still locked out
Three weeks after President Trump moved to extend unemployment benefits, countless Floridians have still not gotten any payments — cutting off a crucial lifeline for workers who lost jobs to the pandemic. The $900 billion relief package that Congress passed on Dec. 22 and that Trump signed on Dec. 27 was intended to prevent Americans from losing unemployment benefits, by extending a federal program for self-employed and part-time workers ineligible for state benefits. It also included a second program that allowed Floridians to stay on unemployment longer than the usual 12 weeks. More from the Orlando Sentinel.
FPL wants to raise rates to generate $2 billion in new revenue
Florida Power & Light customers could be paying about 15% more for their electricity by 2025 under a four-year rate proposal the utility plans to submit to the Florida Public Service Commission later this year. In a news release Monday, FPL said it wants to increase its revenue by about $2 billion over four years. The increases would be phased in — by $1.1 billion in 2022, by $615 million in 2023 and by $140 million each in 2024 and 2025. More from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
Rosen lays off another 202 employees, capping disastrous year for hotel workers
Rosen Hotels & Resorts laid off 202 employees on New Year’s Eve, according to paperwork filed with Florida’s Department of Economic Opportunity, closing out a year that saw thousands of Central Florida hotel workers lose their jobs amid the COVID-19 pandemic. With eight hotels in the Orlando area, Rosen employed more than 4,000 people at their pre-pandemic peak. More from the Orlando Sentinel.
Carnival Corp. CEO says company has enough cash to endure 12 more cruise-less months
Carnival Corporation has enough cash to survive a cruise-less 2021, CEO Arnold Donald told investors Monday. The company reported a net loss of $2.2 billion during the final quarter of 2020 but ended the year with $9.5 billion in liquidity, enough to endure at least 12 more months without cruises, Donald said. To tighten supply, the company has divested of 15 ships from its pre-pandemic fleet of 105, and plans to bid farewell to four more in the coming weeks. More from the Miami Herald.
Tampa renews push for reusing sewage for water needs
Out with the TAP, in with the PURE. It’s been more than a year since Tampa gave up trying to sell a plan — dubbed the Tampa Augmentation Project or TAP — to convert wastewater to drinking water in the face of environmental and City Council opposition. The struggle to persuade critics to get over their aversion to a project they dubbed “toilet-to-tap,” has taken on a new dimension and a new acronym — PURE — to stand in for a program that promises to “purify usable resources for the environment.” More from the Tampa Bay Times.
Manatee County Fair kicks off with safety front and center
When the gates open at 5 p.m. Thursday, the Manatee County Fair will continue its long run dating back to 1916. While the fair will open as scheduled, nothing will look or feel the same. New fair manager Danny Alphonso said modifications have been made in all areas to help limit the spread of the coronavirus.
» More from the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.
Florida Talks: At Home!
The pandemic has led the Florida Humanities Council to create virtual versions of some of its programs, including the Florida Talks speakers series. The council’s Florida Talks At Home series, for example, enables viewers to sign up via computer or smart device and watch historians, authors, storytellers, scholars and journalists talk about Florida’s history and culture.
» Read more from Florida Trend.
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