May 8, 2021

Monday's Daily Pulse

What you need to know about Florida today

| 5/3/2021

DeSantis won big during Florida’s legislative session. Now what?

Gov. Ron DeSantis celebrated a string of victories Friday as his fellow Republican lawmakers delivered on nearly all of his agenda. Now, he could be required to rack up some wins in court to keep them. Some of DeSantis’ top priorities this year – an anti-riot bill, legislation to punish Big Tech censorship and banning private companies from requiring “vaccine passports” from customers – have all been labeled unconstitutional by critics. More from the Tampa Bay Times, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, and the  Orlando Sentinel.

Airline and hotel bookings to Florida destinations are heating up in sign of a return to summer travel

More people could be packing their bags for Florida vacations long-delayed by COVID-19 restrictions, indicating the U.S. may indeed be inching closer to pre-pandemic normalcy, data shows. Throughout March, Florida destinations saw a surge in hotel and flight bookings for summer travel, according to research from Adara, a consumer data analysis company. And Adara is forecasting another sharp surge is on the way. The estimates could mean the nation is a step closer to President Joe Biden’s goal of returning to normal by mid-Summer. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]

Streams and lakes have rights, a U.S. county decided. Now they’re suing Florida

A network of streams, lakes and marshes in Florida is suing a developer and the state to try to stop a housing development from destroying them. The novel lawsuit was filed on Monday in Orange county on behalf of the waterways under a “rights of nature” law passed in November. It is the largest US municipality to adopt such a law to date. Native Americans honor Lolita the orca 50 years after capture: 'She was taken' Read more The listed plaintiffs are Wilde Cypress Branch, Boggy Branch, Crosby Island Marsh, Lake Hart and Lake Mary Jane. [Source: The Guardian]

‘He opened opportunity.’ First Black Florida Supreme Court Judge Joseph Hatchett dies at 88

When a young Joseph W. Hatchett took the Florida Bar exam in 1960, he could not stay in the Miami hotel in which the test was given because of Jim Crow regulations. Within 15 years, Hatchett would become the first African American to serve on the Florida Supreme Court. Former Florida Supreme Court Justice Hatchett died in Tallahassee on Friday, April 30, Florida Supreme Court spokesman Craig Waters said in a post Saturday morning. Hatchett was 88 and Florida’s 65th justice since statehood was granted in 1845. More from the Miami Herald and WTVT.  

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Did Trump’s actions as president cost Florida a seat in Congress and an electoral vote?

The hundreds of people who streamed into Florida every day for a decade brought with them, along with traffic and everything else, an increase in the state’s political clout — greater representation in Congress and in electoral votes that decide the presidency. But not as big an increase as expected. When official numbers came out from the Census Bureau on Monday, Florida was awarded one more congressional district, for a total of 28, and one more electoral vote, for a total of 30. For years, Democrats, Republicans and independent analysts were practically certain that Florida is in line for two more of each. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]

ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:

› Busch Gardens and SeaWorld offering free ticket deal for veterans
As a salute and a thank you to veterans, the parent company of Busch Gardens in Tampa is offering them free admission to all its theme parks this spring. And it’s not just for the soldier: They can bring along three family members for a free day, too. Veterans can also purchase up to six additional tickets at half-price. Active military members are currently offered the same deal yearround.

› Hertz could hold auction for best plan to exit bankruptcy
Hertz could soon hold an auction. With two serious bidders Estero-based Hertz Global's leadership has determined that an auction may be the best way to get the best plan for its exit from Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Last week,  federal judge Mary Walrath, who is hearing Hertz's bankruptcy case in Delaware, approved the bidding procedures.

› Florida no longer requires proof of residency for COVID-19 vaccine
In a new public health advisory, Florida’s surgeon general has ordered state and federal vaccine locations to stop asking people for proof of residency to get a COVID-19 vaccine. The move clears what public health experts call a barrier keeping undocumented migrants and others from getting a shot.

› Red Lobster looks to shrink downtown Orlando office space as employees work from home
Red Lobster wants to cut the size of its downtown Orlando headquarters in half after a survey found that most of its staffers want to continue working from home. The chain of more than 700 seafood restaurants has about 91,000 square feet of space in CNL Center Tower 1 at 450 S. Orange Ave. and is seeking to sublet up to 52,744 square feet on the building’s 11th and 12th floors, CEO Kim Lopdrup said in an emailed response to questions from the Orlando Sentinel.

Trend Mention

Mention ImageSmall Business Leadership Conference

Don't miss the 10th annual Small Business Leadership Conference held June 9-11 at the JW Marriott Grande Lakes in Orlando, Florida! This is the premier professional development and networking opportunity for small business owners, managers, executives, economic and community development leaders, and nonprofits in Florida and beyond. Connect and share innovative ideas with fellow entrepreneurs. Its where businesses go to grow!

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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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