Wednesday's Afternoon Update
What you need to know about Florida today
Florida to bring in more tax revenue than anticipated
As they piece together a new spending plan, state lawmakers can anticipate $2 billion more in tax revenue than previously forecast, months after facing the prospects of a major budget shortfall. But while economists increased general-revenue estimates Tuesday, the state still faces financial fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic such as an increase in Medicaid caseloads and the potential that tourism, particularly from overseas travelers, might not return to “normal” levels until the 2022-2023 fiscal year. More from the News Service of Florida.
Florida gets nearly $200 million to bolster vaccination effort
With millions in new funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Florida will expand its local efforts to vaccinate residents, particularly those disproportionately impacted by the coronavirus, the agency announced Tuesday. “We are doing everything we can to expand access to vaccinations,” said Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the CDC director. “Millions of Americans are getting vaccinated every day, but we need to ensure that we are reaching those in the communities hit hardest by this pandemic.” More from the Tampa Bay Times.
Florida toll road project could see change
Jefferson County would no longer be the northern endpoint for a proposed extension of the Suncoast Parkway, under a bill approved unanimously Tuesday by the House Commerce Committee. The extension of the Suncoast Parkway from Citrus County to Jefferson County was one of three controversial toll-road projects approved by the Legislature in 2019. The House bill (HB 6059), sponsored by Rep. Jason Shoaf, R-Port St. Joe, would remove a reference to Jefferson County in the law but doesn’t provide another proposed endpoint for the Suncoast Parkway extension. More from the News Service of Florida.
Coinme launches 300 bitcoin-enabled Coinstar kiosks in Florida
Coinme, the largest fully-licensed cryptocurrency cash exchange in the U.S., today announced its entrance into Florida with the launch of over 300 bitcoin-enabled Coinstar® kiosks located at select Winn Dixie, Fresco y Mas, Harveys and other grocery outlets across the state from small towns to big cities including Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando and Tampa. For Floridians, the expansion makes buying bitcoin with cash as simple as visiting their local grocery store More from Florida Trend.
Amazon continues North Jacksonville investment
Amazon.com is preparing to install a material handling system and free-standing rack modules in its 1 million-square-foot fulfillment center under construction in Imeson Park at 10501 Cold Storage Road in North Jacksonville. The systems total a construction cost of almost $55 million. In September, the online retailer announced it will open the 500-job Jacksonville fulfillment center in fall 2021 to pick, pack and ship small items, including apparel, accessories and footwear. More from the Jacksonville Daily Record.
Florida dude ranch offers luxe amenities to weekend cowpokes
When people hear the words dude ranch, images of cowboys, cattle, corrals and campfires come to mind. As do the wide-open spaces of the West. But Westgate River Ranch Resort & Rodeo is an authentic dude ranch in the middle of the Sunshine State. “Cowboys and the ranch represent the good part about America,” says Ray Duncan, general manager of Westgate River Ranch. “What kid doesn’t grow up with a cowboy as a hero?”
» More from the AJC.
Minor League teams get creative with revenue in Florida
The Daytona Tortugas have delivered grand slams, extra innings and on-field thrills to their fans through the years. And like many Minor League teams, the Tortugas have used a host of creative promotions to put fans in the seats — everything from T-shirt and bobble-head giveaways to more offbeat promotions — “Star Wars nights,” for example. A Minor League team in Connecticut held a “mustache appreciation night.” The promotions established some Minor League team owners as marketing whizzes and buttressed the teams’ finances.
» Read more from Florida Trend.
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