May 8, 2021

Tuesday's Daily Pulse

What you need to know about Florida today

| 5/4/2021

How unemployment got lost during Florida’s legislative session

A year ago, Florida’s unemployment crisis was a top issue on the minds of state lawmakers. With the state’s unemployment system inoperable, hundreds of thousands of desperate Floridians bombarded lawmakers’ phone lines begging for help filing their claims. Lawmakers from both parties pledged to reform the antiquated system. Yet by the time they convened months later in Tallahassee for their annual legislative session this March, the unemployment crisis had been eclipsed by hot-button culture war topics such as penalizing social media companies, banning vaccine “passports,” voting reforms and “anti-riot” legislation. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

State parks win ‘record funding’ in new budget

The Florida Legislature poured more than $67 million into the state’s parks this year. The budget marks a record year for the parks, according to Gil Ziffer, State Parks Foundation President. “In every sense this has been one of the most successful Legislative Sessions ever as far as Florida’s award-winning state parks are concerned. This is a year of record funding,” Ziffer said in a written statement. [Source: Florida Politics]

CEO magazine: Florida and Texas top two states for business

For the 17th year in a row, Texas was named the “Best State for Business” by the nation’s leading CEOs in an annual survey conducted by Chief Executive Magazine. Once again, California was ranked the worst. The rankings are determined by CEO’s assessment of each state’s business climate, workforce, and quality of life. Texas has ranked first every year for 17 years since the magazine first began its assessment. Florida ranked second, with Tennessee, North Carolina and Indiana, rounding out the top five. [Source: The Center Square]

What you need to know about pending changes to Florida insurance laws

No one was thrilled with the insurance changes that were passed on the final day of the Florida Legislature’s spring session — not the insurance industry and not consumers’ attorneys. Insurers didn’t get to kill the law that requires them, and not their customers, to pay to replace damaged roofs. Failure to change the law will keep insurance rates rising, they warn. Attorneys failed to prevent new restrictions on how they get paid when they sue insurance companies, prompting warnings that consumers will have to pay attorneys upfront if they want to sue. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]

Shocking! Florida dethroned as U.S. lightning capital; Central Florida counties still No. 1, study says

In a shocking new study Florida was dethroned as the lightning capital of the country, moving over for Oklahoma. The Sooner State was found to have more lightning flashes per square km than any other state in the country, according to an analysis by Vaisala Corporation, a global weather surveillance company. Vaisala’s study recorded 10 billion lightning events from 2016-2020 , and found Oklahoma averaged 83.4 lightning events per square km a year. The number is only just ahead of the Sunshine State’s average of 82.8 per square km. [Source: Orlando Sentinel ]


› As Florida gasoline prices still on the decline, which markets offer the cheapest gas?
Gas prices across Florida have continued their decline, dropping 8 cents in the last month, to the lowest daily average in two months. The average price per gallon on Monday was $2.78, according to the AAA-Auto Club South in its weekly state briefing. However, summer demand and crude oil prices could have impacts as Americans begin to look toward traveling more.

› Florida's 'green bank' secures $5M line of credit from BankUnited to foster clean energy financing
After securing its largest-ever investment from Miami Lakes-based BankUnited, one of Florida’s leading lenders for sustainable improvement projects is seeking to expand equitable climate financing across South Florida and other key Southeast regions.

› Tampa, St. Pete-Clearwater airports to hire hundreds at job fairs this week
Ever wanted a job at an airport? This week, you have a chance. Plenty of them, actually. Tampa International Airport and St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport are both hosting job fairs this week, with at least 380 positions available. Tampa International Airport’s fair on Tuesday will be one of its largest ever, offering positions at shops, restaurants, rental car companies and the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority.

› Zumba marks 20 years of dance-fitness craze: ‘It could only have been born in Miami’
It started with VHS tapes. And now it’s taken over the world. Twenty years since its founding, Zumba has helped millions dance their way into fitter, happier lives, says co-founder and CEO Alberto Perlman. Officially launched in Aventura by Colombian dancer Alberto “Beto” Perez, Zumba reached $20 million in video sales via TV infomercials by 2003. By 2012, the New York Times reported Zumba was valued at $500 million. It now has 250 employees at its Hallandale Beach headquarters.

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