May 8, 2021

Wednesday's Daily Pulse

What you need to know about Florida today

| 4/21/2021

What you should know about Florida’s new online sales tax law

Florida on Monday enacted a new law requiring out-of-state online merchants to collect and remit sales tax, which supporters say will bring in an additional $1 billion a year that previously went uncollected. Here’s what it means to consumers. The law, which takes effect on July 1, is mainly concerned with what are called “marketplace facilitators” — platforms such as eBay, Etsy, Overstock and Amazon Marketplace through which independent sellers promote and sell their goods. More from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel and NBC-2.

Lawmakers disagree on $36 million for Florida’s unemployment agency

State lawmakers are on track to assign an additional $36 million to Florida’s unemployment agency. But they can’t agree on how to spend it: either on resolving millions of existing unemployment claims or upgrading the broken unemployment system that caused so many problems with those claims in the first place. In the final weeks of this year’s legislative session, the debate has become a top sticking point for state lawmakers crafting the next year’s budget. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

Remember Zagat? The OG of restaurant guides is making a comeback starting in Miami

Zagat is back. The restaurant guide that curated diner comments, rated establishments around the world and printed them in recognizable maroon booklets has relaunched as an all-digital guide with a new website and app. And the first city it is rating is Miami. Zagat (pronounced zah-GAT) was your parents’ Yelp. Diners feedback was mailed in, sifted through by Zagat’s editors and a rating was assigned to each restaurant. The rating included diner quotes and a rating based on a 30-point scale. [Source: Miami Herald]

Data privacy a rare issue uniting liberals and conservatives in the Florida Legislature

Florida’s business lobby is getting much of what it wants this legislative session, from COVID-19 lawsuit protections to a big unemployment tax break. One area, though, where GOP lawmakers who control the Legislature are clashing with big business is on the issue of data privacy. Privacy bills that have drawn the ire of the business community are ready for final votes in the Florida House and Senate, with the House expected to vote on the legislation Wednesday. [Source: Palm Beach Post]

Florida Book Awards winners for 2020 announced

The winners of the 2020 Florida Book Awards cover a lot of ground in their pages: robots and dragonflies, Jacksonville rock bands and a Sanibel artist, Florida’s springs and its governors. The Florida Book Awards, established in 2006, is an annual awards program that recognizes, honors and celebrates literature by Florida authors and books about Florida published in the previous year. Coordinated by the Florida State University Libraries and co-sponsored by several Florida arts, writers and literacy organizations, the awards include up to three prizes (gold, silver and bronze medals) in 11 categories. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]


› CareerSource Tampa Bay cutting 51 jobs through outsourcing
CareerSource Tampa Bay, which helps place out-of-work Hillsborough County residents in jobs, is cutting its own workforce. The agency has informed the state that it will lay off 51 employees after outsourcing its Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Adult and Dislocated Worker Program, which provides job search and training assistance.

› NASA and SpaceX are 'go' for high-profile Crew-2 launch from Kennedy Space Center
After an hours-long pre-dawn review, officials at Kennedy Space Center on Tuesday gave the all-clear for NASA and SpaceX teams to proceed with this week's launch of four astronauts to the International Space Station. "We reviewed all the open work ... and we concluded that we're go for launch," Steve Stich, manager of NASA's Commercial Crew Program, told reporters after the launch readiness review on Tuesday. "So we're still on track for a 6:11 a.m. Eastern launch on Thursday."

› Sunscreen Film Festival returns with celebrity talks, reduced capacity seating
The Sunscreen Film Festival, a celebration of independent filmmakers, returns to St. Petersburg’s Sundial AMC Theaters April 29 through May 2. Once again, attendees can mix and mingle with filmmakers, actors, writers, producers and celebrities. However, COVID-19 will restrict this year’s festival to 50-percent capacity.

› Investing in magic mushrooms? Lauderdale investor is betting they’re the next big pharma play
Could magic mushrooms be the next blockbuster opportunity in once-taboo drug investment? Dustin Robinson, a Fort Lauderdale-based attorney specializing in drug investments and regulation, thinks so. Better known as Mr. Cannibis Law, Robinson announced Tuesday the launch of Florida-based Iter Investments, a firm that will deploy capital into the emerging psychedelics treatment space.

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