April 21, 2021

Thursday's Daily Pulse

What you need to know about Florida today

| 2/25/2021

What to know about Florida’s 2021 legislative session

Every year, Florida lawmakers gather in Tallahassee to debate state policy, amend existing laws and pass new ones, and put together a state budget. This year will be no different, though the COVID-19 pandemic will be looming large over all of these discussions. All of this gets done during a 60-day legislative session, which starts Tuesday. Lawmakers, however, have been holding committee meetings and voting on measures since November. So, a view of the issues gnawing at lawmakers and Gov. Ron DeSantis has already emerged. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

Breaking from big business, some Florida Republicans call for closing corporate tax loopholes

Florida Democrats have tried and failed for years to close loopholes in the state’s tax code that allow big corporations to shift money to other states, a strategy that some analysts estimate costs Florida half a billion dollars annually. But this legislative session, it’s a Republican lawmaker pushing to clamp down on tax avoidance by corporations, in an apparent break from other GOP legislators and big business lobbyists who have fought hard to keep Florida’s tax laws as lax as possible. [Source: Orlando Sentiinel]

Citrus industry dealing with high tariffs

Florida ctrus growers say they’ve gotten the squeeze this year as tariffs have made it harder to move their product. But while they’re riding another roller coaster this year, they say things are setting up for a banner year in 2022. After more than a decade and a half, citrus growers in Florida are also looking to plant again. The industry has been decimated by citrus greening, thanks to the Asian Citrus Psyllid which feeds on the trees, causing them to lose fruit prematurely. Scientists have been developing more disease-resistant trees. [Source: WPTV]

Spring Break travel could cause coronavirus surge in Florida, experts warn

Health experts have issued a warning about the possibility of a spike in coronavirus cases ahead of the upcoming Spring Break period. Although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention discourages unnecessary travel, airports are expecting an uptick in travel through spring and summer as families grow frustrated with pandemic limitations. The CDC says COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths have decreased in recent weeks, but carelessness during Spring Break could still have serious consequences. [Source: WFLA]

Get ready, the electronic vehicle revolution is coming and South Florida is gearing up

Every major automaker has pledged to dramatically increase their EV (electric vehicle) production in the next five years. The EV market is about to explode. Currently, Florida has about 60,000 electric vehicles on the road. That number is expected to double in the next 10 years, and it’s not just luxury brands like the Tesla. EVs are becoming a lot more affordable. [Source: WPLG]

ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:

› Oragenics raises $22 million through stock sale, warrants
Oragenics Inc. has raised $22 million through the sale of common stock and by exercising warrants on its common stock, the company says. The Tampa-based COVID-19 vaccine maker also announced that it has given notice to the holders of its Series C, non-convertible preferred stock that it intends to redeem those shares.

› Adecco moving North American headquarters from Jacksonville to Atlanta
The Adecco Group said Feb. 24 it is moving its North American headquarters from Jacksonville to Atlanta, but said its business service center that employs more than 600 will remain in Jacksonville. The Zurich, Switzerland-based staffing and services company has had its North American headquarters in Jacksonville since 2014. Adecco said it will move key leadership and commercial functions to the new office.

› South Florida caterer’s charcuterie board delivery a pandemic success story
Salty-sweet homemade cheese and charcuterie boards are a delight to our bellies and the Instagram scroll, but for one West Palm Beach small business called CheeseBoarder, they are a pandemic phenomenon. “We did half a million dollars in sales in two and a half months,” said co-founder and Loxahatchee resident Aaron Menitoff. His delivery service is the only company in the country that ships gourmet, fully assembled, ready to eat, artisan cheese and charcuterie boards nationwide, he says.

› Why Vlad Doronin and Jonathan Goldstein are betting billions on Miami
How quickly things change. Nine months ago, most Miami offices remained shuttered. The luxury condo market was stalled, reeling from the double-whammy of a pre-pandemic glut and a collective case of mid-pandemic high-rise cabin fever. Russian-born developer Vladislav Doronin had reason for concern — at least in the eyes of local real estate watchers.

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Tour one of Florida's top wonders, Rainbow Springs
Tour one of Florida's top wonders, Rainbow Springs

The state's fourth-largest spring offers some incredible views, and kayaking on Rainbow River is one of the top things to do in Central Florida. So, Times reporters decided to head out on the water to give it a try.

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