Friday's Afternoon Update
What you need to know about Florida today
$10.2 billion federal windfall has Florida lawmakers a bit flummoxed
Florida lawmakers seeking to wrap up their session on time next week have an unprecedented problem: A $10.2 billion windfall coming from Washington that they haven’t yet figured out how to spend. Roads, environmental clean-up projects and school construction projects could get more cash from the federal COVID-19 relief funds. All of those ideas have been floated by House or Senate budget negotiators trying to come to the final agreement on a spending plan that is likely to top $100 billion for the first time in state history. More from the Orlando Sentinel.
Coronavirus spotlighted Florida’s eviction law. Are changes coming?
The coronavirus pandemic brought to the fore how aspects of Florida’s eviction law leave some tenants legally vulnerable. Month-to-month tenants were among the hundreds who have been evicted during the past year because they fell through a massive loophole in the Centers for Disease Control’s eviction moratorium, for example. The moratorium only protects renters being evicted explicitly for missed rent, not for terminations of leases. More from the Tampa Bay Times.
Tampa mask company battles supply and demand dynamic
In April 2020, investing in masks seemed like a sure thing. Demand was arguably at an all time high — China, for one example, was making some 200 million masks a day. Tampa’s American Surgical Mask Co. was born in the wake of this moment. Co-Founder and Chief Strategic Officer Kalu Watanabe, an entrepreneur who has been involved in energy and health care entities, was planning to start a hemp venture when COVID-19 mired his plans. More from the Business Observer.
Here’s what cruise employees have been doing while the industry has been docked
Before the pandemic, the three largest cruise companies — Carnival Corporation, Royal Caribbean Group and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings — collectively employed about 24,000 people who worked on land in the U.S. and abroad and 201,000 people on ships. In 2020, the number of shore workers employed by the three companies around the world dropped 12% to 21,200 and ship employees dropped 17% to 167,000 according to the companies’ financial filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. More from the Miami Herald.
JAX Chamber board endorses gas tax increase
The JAX Chamber board of directors endorsed Mayor Lenny Curry and the Jacksonville Transportation Authority’s proposal to increase and extend Duval County’s local option gas tax to pay for nearly $1 billion in infrastructure projects. In a news release April 22, the Northeast Florida business membership group announced its board voted unanimously to support the gas tax legislation filed this week by City Council President Tommy Hazouri at Curry’s request. More from the Jacksonville Daily Record.
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Gas-station taqueria no more: Los Bocados’ first restaurant debuts
Chef Robby Bushman has measured it himself, and it’s exactly 152 footsteps south – more or less a taco’s throw – from Los Bocados’ former location to its new home in the same plaza. There’s a huge difference in those 152 steps: No gas pumps. Once a fast-casual taqueria inside the bright corner of a Chevron, Los Bocados has graduated to its first brick-and-mortar restaurant in the Shoppes of Parkland. The move to 7031 State Road 7 ends four-plus years of Bushman and chef-partner Anthony Hoff slinging tacos, burritos and quesadillas out of their no-frills eatery, which found national acclaim last November when Food Network star Guy Fieri spotlighted it on “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.”
» Read more from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
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