April 21, 2021

Monday's Daily Pulse

What you need to know about Florida today

| 4/5/2021

Gov. Ron DeSantis bans all Florida businesses from requiring ‘vaccination passports’

Gov. Ron DeSantis issued an executive order Friday that prohibits businesses from requiring customers to provide any documentation that they’ve gotten a COVID-19 vaccine to gain access or service. Businesses that do will not be able to get state grants or contracts, he said. DeSantis has previously rejected the notion of so-called “vaccine passports” as conditions for travel or other activities. More from the Miami Herald and the Orlando Sentinel.

Can South Florida leap into the space industry? Here’s a new idea to lure business.

For decades, South Florida has been largely a bystander to the state’s space exploration industry, leaving eye-popping rocket launches and manned space missions to Florida’s Space Coast, which enjoyed the international cachet and economic benefits. But now, Broward County’s new Alan B. Levan NSU Broward Center of Innovation is making a leap into the nation’s burgeoning commercial space industry, which by some estimates is already worth $1 trillion. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]

During a turbulent COVID-pandemic year, outdoor recreation surged like never before

While outdoor recreation has been growing for decades, the pandemic helped to spur an additional spike in people getting outside to enjoy a range of activities safely in fresh air. The surge in outdoor recreation is a trend not just seen in certain sectors or areas of the country, but a nationwide phenomenon that spans multiple industries. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]

The Miami hospitality sector is booming — so why are workers in short supply?

As demand in the leisure and hospitality sector roars back to life during a wave of reopenings, Miami-area employers say they are finding it increasingly difficult to fill roles to meet it. It’s the unexpected paradox the region finds itself in one year into the pandemic: customers everywhere — and not enough workers to be found. In an industry where 40 percent of the staff is made up of part-timers, some have switched careers. [Source: Miami Herald]

Nationwide shortage of truck drivers impacting Central Florida

According to the American Transportation Research Institute, the shortage of truck drivers is causing a domino effect on manufacturers, consumers and corporations across the country. A 2019 analysis by the American Trucking Associations indicated the United States is currently in need of more than 60,000 truck drivers. If the trend continues, it could see a shortage of 160 thousand truck drivers by 2028. [Source: Click Orlando]


› State of emergency declared in Bradenton with collapse of polluted reservoir 'imminent'
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency Saturday after a significant leak at a large pond of wastewater threatened to flood roads and burst a system that stores polluted waters. Officials in Florida ordered more than 300 homes to be evacuated and closed off a highway Saturday near the large reservoir in the Tampa Bay area north of Bradenton.

› Opponents vow to intensify campaign against proposed Florida pension revamp
A proposed Senate bill requiring government employees enroll in a 401(k)-type plan rather than into the Florida Retirement System (FRS) could affect more than 430,000 retirees and retirement plans for at least 645,000 public service workers, opponents argue. Senate Bill 84, filed by Sen. Ray Rodrigues, R-Estero, would require new public employees hired after July 1, 2022, to enroll in the investment plan and not the FRS.

› Tens of millions of dollars being spent to repeatedly rebuild Central Florida beaches
Tens of millions of dollars is being spent to repeatedly rebuild Central Florida beaches as the effects of climate change chew away the sand. One project is currently underway in Cocoa Beach, where the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is working to renourish four miles of beach just north of Patrick Space Force Base. “It’s good for locals, it’s good for sea turtles and it’s good for tourists,” said Mike McGarry, Brevard County’s beach project manager. “Tourists drive our economy.”

› Florida regulators asked to take over a St. Petersburg insurer
Florida’s insurance regulator took the unusual step of asking the state to take over a private property insurer Friday. The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation recommended that St. Petersburg-based American Capital Assurance Corp. be placed in the state’s care because of insolvency. The company agreed with the recommendation, the office said. The Florida Department of Financial Services will have final say on the decision.

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Tour one of Florida's top wonders, Rainbow Springs
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