May 8, 2021

Wednesday's Daily Pulse

What you need to know about Florida today

| 4/28/2021

Florida’s controversial toll roads projects are scrapped

Two years after ordering the state to build more than 300 miles of toll roads across rural Florida, state lawmakers slammed the brakes. With little debate, the Florida House on Tuesday voted 115-0 to repeal the bulk of the controversial projects, sending the bill to DeSantis’ desk. The bill is an extraordinary reversal of a top Republican priority from 2019, and Democrats declared it a victory, House Minority Co-leader Evan Jenne, D-Dania Beach, told reporters on Monday. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

Gov. DeSantis extends Florida's COVID-19 emergency order 

Gov. Ron DeSantis issued an executive order Tuesday, extending Florida's state of emergency due to COVID-19. The state of emergency was originally declared more than a year ago on March 9, 2020 when only eight Florida counties had positive cases of COVID-19. Since then, there have been confirmed cases reported across the state's 67 counties. In the past, Gov. DeSantis has extended the order in 60-day increments. And, this time was no different. [Source: WTSP

Voters to decide fate of constitution panel

Florida voters next year will decide whether to abolish a powerful commission that drew heavy criticism as it placed seven constitutional amendments on the 2018 ballot. With sponsor Mike Beltran, R-Lithia, urging lawmakers to join him in “protecting” the Florida Constitution, the House voted 86-28 on Tuesday to give final approval to a proposal to abolish the state Constitution Revision Commission. [Source: Florida Trend]

As COVID-related food assistance expands, Floridians experience delays, frustration

Across the state, low-income households that depend on SNAP, a rebranding of what was once known as the food stamp program, experienced similar delays and didn’t know why. Confused, recipients took to social media to find out if they were the only ones unsure of whether they’d be able to buy food. Will the delays happen again next month? Asked by the Miami Herald, DCF wouldn’t say. DCF did, however, provide a reason for this month’s delays: a federal policy change. More from the Miami Herald.

Raises for lowest paid state workers and state agency heads included in budget proposal

There’s a substantial boost in pay for nearly 2,000 state workers – as much as 52% for some – in the budget deal Senate and House negotiators struck Monday night. Leadership has agreed to a $40 million plan pushed by Senate President Wilton Simpson to have the Legislature make a down payment on the minimum wage constitutional amendment voters approved in November. That will raise the minimum wage statewide to $15 by 2026. [Source: Tallahassee Democrat]

ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:

› Kforce to sell Tampa headquarters, shift employees to hybrid work
Kforce, one of the largest public companies in Tampa Bay, has reached a deal to sell its Tampa corporate headquarters as it shifts its employees to a hybrid work environment. The staffing and professional services company expects to close the $24 million sale of its office in Ybor City in May, then lease it back for 18 months while searching for a “future state-of-the-art corporate headquarters” in Tampa Bay, the company stated in an announcement.

› Brickell remains hot for newcomers — Thoma Bravo to open office in Miami’s financial hub
Chicago-headquartered private equity firm Thoma Bravo is opening in Brickell, where it expects to station 30 employees — at least 10 of them new, according to Chip Virnig, a firm partner. Their new home: the top two floors of 830 Brickell, the 55-story landmark tower designed by the architects responsible for two of the world’s tallest skyscrapers.

› Landry’s offers $250 bonuses as it tries to hire 800 restaurant workers in Orlando
Landry’s is attempting to hire nearly 800 employees for its Orlando area restaurants and is offering a $250 bonus for workers hired at an upcoming job fair. The job fair will take place 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 13 at Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House, 9150 International Drive, Orlando. Employees hired at the event will receive a $100 bonus after 30 days and $150 after 90 days.

› St. Pete-Clearwater airport, rebounding from travel slowdowns, adds non-stop routes  
St.Pete-Clearwater International Airport is adding four nonstop flights a week to Minneapolis. Minnesota-based Sun Country Airlines will begin flying non-stop in November from the Clearwater airport to Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport four days each week – Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays.

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Domino Park, symbol of Little Havana, reopens after COVID closure
Domino Park, symbol of Little Havana, reopens after COVID closure

The sound of laughter and clacking dominoes returned to Little Havana's popular Domino Park on May 3, 2021, as it reopened after being closed for more than a year due to COVID-19.

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