May 6, 2021

Thursday's Daily Pulse

What you need to know about Florida today

| 4/15/2021

Florida schools should not mandate face masks next school year, education commissioner says

In a memo to district superintendents, Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran said face masks should be voluntary for the 2021-22 school year and not required. Currently, most Central Florida school districts mandate face masks on their campuses, as do many other, but not all, districts across the state. The final decision on mask mandates for next school year likely will be made by individual school boards. [Source: South Florida SunSentinel]

Businesses have more time to apply for PPP loans

Since mid-January, roughly $14 billion in PPP loans have been handed out in Florida, according to the Small Business Administration (SBA). Now, business owners have even more time to apply. “It actually gives them additional time to apply if they never got a chance to apply to begin with,” said SBA spokesperson Victoria Guerrero. Guerrero says even though businesses have more time to apply, it does not change the steps they have to take to apply for forgiveness. [Source: WTVJ]

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Florida Education Guide

Our Florida Education Guide is the ultimate resource for comparing Florida’s post-secondary educational options. Learn everything you need to know about Florida’s colleges, universities and career/technical schools. [Source: Florida Trend]

Employment and investment in private U.S. space industry on the rise

A new report released by the non-profit Space Foundation found that U.S. private space employment has reached a nine-year high. “Space is now home to the most dynamic and innovative economy on the planet, and that is why Space Foundation’s Center for Innovation and Education is so dedicated to enabling and expanding access to build a skilled workforce for tomorrow,” said Tom Zelibor, CEO, Space Foundation. “There has never been a better time to find a place in the space economy.” [Source: Florida Trend]

Headline

The House voted 114-2 to approve the measure (HB 1429), sponsored by Rep. Bryan Avila, R-Miami Springs. The bill would expand the allowed uses of tourist-development taxes to include flooding-related projects, with Avila and other supporters pointing to concerns about sea-level rise. Under current law, counties are allowed to collect the taxes on such things as hotel stays and use the money for a variety of purposes, including tourism promotion and advertising, beach improvements and convention center and stadium projects. [Source: WFOR]

ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:

› First GMO mosquitoes to be released in the Florida Keys
EPA approved Oxitec’s mosquitoes for release this spring. Some scientists and locals want to halt the deployment

› Commentary | Central Florida has big role in Everglades restoration
One of the great moments during my service in the Senate was when Congress came together in a bipartisan fashion to finally authorize several Everglades restoration projects that had been languishing for years.

› Bills that would overhaul Florida's workforce system pass in House
The state's workforce system currently is made up of CareerSource Florida, the Department of Economic Opportunity and local boards.

› DeSantis political group piles up cash for reelection campaign, raising more than $9 million so far this year
With a $5.14 million haul in March, Gov. Ron DeSantis’ political committee raised more than $9 million in the first three months of 2021 as he prepares to run for re-election.

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Florida Trend Video Pick

Miami’s Children Museum reopens after 14 months of COVID-19 closures
Miami’s Children Museum reopens after 14 months of COVID-19 closures

After 14 months, Miami’s Children Museum will physically reopen this weekend. It has maintained a strong online presence for children and families since the start of the pandemic.

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