Thursday's Afternoon Update
What you need to know about Florida today
Florida transportation projects to get billions from federal infrastructure bill
Florida should see annual funding for highways and bridges increase by $649 million as part of a more than $1.2 trillion federal infrastructure bill signed into law last month by President Joe Biden. Florida Department of Transportation Secretary Kevin Thibault also told state senators Wednesday that the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which will pump $16.7 billion into transportation projects across the state over the next five years, could mean another $40 million a year to develop electric vehicle charging stations near highways and even expand Amtrak passenger rail services. More from the News Service of Florida.
Florida prisons will soon have more disability accommodations
Change is coming for members of Florida’s aging incarcerated population who live with disabilities. The Florida Department of Corrections and Disability Rights Florida have reached a settlement following allegations that the state prison agency was failing to provide proper disability accommodations behind bars. The agreement creates increased protections for prisoners with disabilities and bolsters oversight over the state correctional system. More from the Tampa Bay Times.
No Casinos and anti-gambling businesses join fight to keep gambling compact locked down
No Casinos and a group of south Florida businessmen have joined the legal fight to defend a district court ruling striking down the 30-year gambling compact between the Seminole Tribe of Florida and the State of Florida. The Seminole Tribe is appealing the ruling and seeks an immediate stay, which would allow it to legally continue the first-in-Florida sports betting operations it launched on Nov. 1. The compact also authorized the tribe to build new casinos on its property and to offer games such as craps and roulette that were previously illegal in Florida. More from the Florida Phoenix.
Activist group pushes for recreational marijuana use to be on the 2022 ballot
An activist group is working to add a measure to legalize recreational marijuana use on Florida’s 2022 Florida general election ballot. Regulate Florida, the group working to add the proposal to the ballot, must obtain over 223,000 signatures to obtain Supreme Court review and another 890,000 valid signatures by January. More from WUFT.
Report shows historic increase in opioid overdose deaths in Central Florida
A Florida-based initiative teamed up with the Seminole County Sheriff’s office Wednesday to release a new report about a historic rise in local opioid overdose deaths. Project Opioid announced the results of “The Changing Overdose Crisis in Central Florida,” which showed a 28% increase in overdose deaths from March 2020 to March 2021 in Orange, Seminole and Osceola counties. More from Click Orlando.
American Airlines expands international, domestic service from Miami airport
American Airlines, the biggest carrier at Miami International Airport, announced Wednesday the addition of four international and six domestic routes to give the airline 378 daily flights from Miami, its most ever. Expanding during the busy winter season, American will fly to Chetumal, Mexico; San Andres, Colombia, and to Dominica and Anguilla. Also, new flights are slated to six U.S. destinations.
» More from the Miami Herald.
Flowers for Jacksonville: Florist launches pop-up installations around town
Fresh ferns, mums and roses with vibrant pops of pink, orange and blue greeted shoppers walking down Park Street in Five Points. It was so pretty, you almost didn't realize the flowers were attached to a trash can as the arrangement's base. It's all part of Laura Graham's latest project, a series of "flower bombings" around town where the florist surprises local businesses with a temporary art installation using a mix of chicken wire, bamboo and seasonal flowers.
» Read more from the Florida Times-Union.
In case you missed it:
Report shows majority of Florida hospitals are not complying with the federal price transparency law
At some universities, tenure may become a thing of the past. That could have an economic impact.