March 2, 2021

Friday's Afternoon Update

What you need to know about Florida today

| 2/19/2021

Florida lawmakers consider healthcare cuts as hospitals battle pandemic

The havoc of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has strained health-care providers across the state, might not be enough to spare hospitals and nursing homes from Medicaid spending cuts in the coming year. Top Republican leaders in the Florida House and Senate acknowledged Thursday a chance that lawmakers could make health-care cuts as they struggle to craft a balanced budget amid the economic wreckage caused by the coronavirus. “So, I would say that everything is on the table,” Senate President Wilton Simpson, R-Trilby, said when asked about reducing Medicaid payment rates for hospitals and nursing homes. More from the News Service of Florida.

Florida legislature, union leaders argue over worker rights

Union leaders and Florida lawmakers are arguing over protecting government workers’ rights and processing their union dues in a bill moving through the Senate. The bill would require union members to provide proof of consent to employers every three years or every time a new contract is negotiated with employers. Employers will then have to process that paperwork before proceeding to deduct the fees from workers’ paychecks. More from the AP.

DeSantis names Julie Brown to run Florida’s Business and Professional Regulation

Longtime state utility regulator Julie Brown was named Thursday by Gov. Ron DeSantis to become secretary of the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation, continuing a series of changes in the upper levels of the DeSantis administration. Brown, a lawyer who has served on the Florida Public Service Commission since 2011, will replace Halsey Beshears, who announced last month he was resigning as Department of Business and Professional Regulation secretary because of health reasons. More from the Tampa Bay Times.

Florida reports first case of P.1 virus variant first detected in Brazil

Florida has reported its first case of P.1, a COVID-19 variant that was first detected in Brazil, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As of Thursday, Florida had only reported one case of P.1 and was one of only four states reporting confirmed cases of the variant in the U.S., according to a map from the CDC. Maryland, Oklahoma and Minnesota have also reported cases of the P.1 variant, the map shows. A total of five cases have been reported nationwide. More from Click Orlando.

Plan to tax online purchases gets support in Florida Senate

An effort to require out-of-state online retailers to collect sales taxes on purchases made by Floridians advanced Thursday in the Senate as economists project the move could bring in more than $1 billion a year in revenue. But as the Senate Finance and Tax Committee voted to support the proposal (SB 50), sponsor Joe Gruters, R-Sarasota, said efforts are underway to balance the increased tax collections against other funding sources to make the change “revenue neutral.” More from WGCU and WJXT.

Florida Dining
Vegan soul food: How South Florida’s Black chefs turn barbecue, burgers and cheesesteaks into plant-based gold

 Across South Florida, Black-owned restaurants like the Rabbit Hole Elevated Vegan Comfort Cuisine are driving a renaissance of vegan soul food, with chefs turning common comfort fare – hamburgers, jerk chicken, wings and cheesesteaks – into healthier plant-based gold. Their singular goal: Make vegan soul food taste better than regular comfort food.

» More from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.


Florida Trend's Business Beat
Top News to Know - Week of February 19th

floridaCheck out the top news-to-know with Florida Trend's brand new, headline-focused video newsbrief, hosted by digital content specialist Aimée Alexander.

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Tags: Daily Pulse, Afternoon Pulse

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Florida Trend Video Pick

Traffic risks rise on Miami’s iconic Rickenbacker causeway
Traffic risks rise on Miami’s iconic Rickenbacker causeway

Fast cars and more people biking have created a very dangerous situation on the Rickenbacker Causeway.


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