September 25, 2021

Wednesday's Daily Pulse

What you need to know about Florida today

| 9/8/2021

Florida Trend Exclusive
Trading in code: Florida's bid for bitcoin

Buyer Beware: Florida is becoming a center for the cryptocurrency industry — but does anybody really understand bitcoin and its kin? In 2008, on Halloween, an anonymous person using the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto uploaded a nine-page white paper to a website called metzdowd.com. “I’ve been working on a new electronic cash system that’s fully peer-to-peer, with no trusted third party,” he wrote. His proposed digital currency — dubbed bitcoin — wasn’t really a coin at all. [Source: Florida Trend]

Florida may give $5,000 signing bonus to new law enforcement officers

New law enforcement officers in Florida could eventually receive a $5,000 signing bonus. Speaking in Lakeland on Tuesday, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced a sweeping proposal to recruit and retain law enforcement officers in the Sunshine State. Part of the plan includes a $5,000 signing bonus for law enforcement officers who are new to Florida, including those who have recently entered the profession, along with veteran officers from other states who are relocating here. More from  WFLXand NBC Miami.

Publix expands to Kentucky, its 8th U.S. state

Publix is expanding beyond the seven states where it currently operates to Kentucky. A 55,702-square-foot store in Lousiville is expected to open during the fourth quarter of 2023, according to a news release revealing the company had signed a lease there. The Lakeland-based grocer has more than 1,280 stores in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]

Florida Medicaid expansion advocates turn to Congress for action

Having failed to convince the Florida Legislature to expand Medicaid, health care reform advocates are pressing Congress to expand eligibility for the program in the infrastructure reconciliation measure being crafted this month. Such a move would amount to an end-run around Tallahassee, where Republican leaders have repeatedly declined to accept more than $50 billion in federal funding to expand the government-run health care program for the poor. [Source: Bay News 9]

Tropical system forecast to pass over Florida this week

The National Hurricane Center is watching out for a system forecast to pass over Florida this week. The area of disturbance was identified as a trough associated with disorganized showers and thunderstorms in the Gulf of Mexico, the NHC said. It’s not expected to organize into a stronger storm before arriving on Florida’s shores due to “unfavorable” upper-level winds keeping the system from developing properly. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]

ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:

› Tech company plans to bring 600+ jobs to Orlando with $55,000 median salaries
With more than $1 million in city of Orlando incentives in the offing, a technology company that’s technology does background checks for employers is aiming to create more than 600 jobs in the city with its third headquarters. Checkr, which already has dual headquarters in San Francisco and Denver, could get $1,102,500 from the city through the city’s STRIVE program, according to city documents.

› In Tampa Bay, it takes three minimum wage jobs to make rent, report says
Rent increases across Tampa Bay this year aren’t just breaking records. They’re obliterating them. As of late August, asking rents for apartments have increased since the beginning of the year by 21.7 percent, according to data from CoStar Group, a real estate data firm, and aren’t showing signs of slowing. In the last two decades, the next-highest rent growth year was in 2015 — at 6.2 percent.

› Alachua County pharmacies participating in vaccine incentive program
Two out of every three Alachua County residents have already gotten their COVID-19 vaccines. In order to increase these numbers, the county commission is encouraging people to get their shot by offering incentives through the end of September. While those who have already been vaccinated are not eligible, those getting the Johnson & Johnson single shots will receive one $25 gift card. Moderna and Pfizer shots will receive $25 for each shot, including booster shots.

› Boating demand booms as Sarasota-Manatee retailers struggle to keep up
Boat sales skyrocketed during the onset of the pandemic as more people sought activities that would get them out of the house and keep them safely entertained. Now, a year later, the industry shows no signs of slowing down. Boat dealerships in Sarasota and Manatee counties reported a combined $731.6 million in total gross sales in 2020, according to an analysis of sales tax data from the Florida Department of Revenue.

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