January 26, 2022

Tuesday's Daily Pulse

What you need to know about Florida today

| 1/11/2022

Incentives are proposed to lure more entertainment industry projects to Florida

Tax credits of up to $2 million for film, television and digital media productions drew support from senators on Monday as part of an effort to make Florida more attractive to the entertainment industry. But as in the past, the 9-1 vote by the Senate Commerce and Tourism Committee came after opposition from the conservative group Americans for Prosperity Florida, which maintains the issue is “corporate welfare.” [Source: News Service of Florida]

Citizens' policies jump as lawmakers look for answers

The state-backed Citizens Property Insurance Corp. continued to add thousands of policies a week in December, while new legislative proposals would try to steer more homeowners into the private insurance market. Citizens had a total of 759,305 policies as of Dec. 31, an increase of nearly 217,000 policies from a year earlier as private insurers shed customers and sought hefty rate increases amid financial troubles in the industry, according to newly posted data. In December, Citizens added almost 18,000 policies. [Source: News Service of Florida]

State prison staffing shortage costing counties millions

The state slowed down accepting new inmates because of a severe staffing shortage, with nearly 30 percent of correction officer positions unfilled. Staffing is so low, at some facilities a single officer guards up to 250 inmates by himself. That’s forced the Florida Department of Corrections to close prisons, work camps, and work release centers while consolidating staff and inmates at facilities. [Source: WFTS]

Resiliency office proposed in Senate

A priority of Gov. Ron DeSantis to permanently set up a statewide office to address the impacts of climate change is back before the state Senate. Sen. Jason Brodeur, R-Sanford, on Monday filed a bill (SB 1940) that would establish within the governor’s office the Statewide Office of Resiliency, which would be run by the chief resilience officer. A similar proposal during the 2020 legislative session drew unanimous support in the Senate but didn’t pass the House. A 2021 proposal didn’t get through committees. [Source: News Service of Florida]

Florida has no limit on price gouging COVID-19 tests

With hours-long wait times for COVID-19 tests continuing, at-home tests are nearly impossible to find. Now, as reports of price gouging are cropping up, a state decision is contributing to what could be a free-for-all when it comes to pricing at-home tests. Under Florida law, price gouging can only be reported and enforced during a state of emergency. So really, there is nothing stopping the sale of at-home COVID-19 tests at any price. [Source: WFTS]

ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:

› L3Harris reorganization gives boost to company's Brevard operations
A just-implemented corporate reorganization by L3Harris Technologies Inc. will give Brevard County an even-greater presence in the company's overall operations. The Melbourne-based aerospace and defense technology company said it is moving from four to three focused segments — the company's term for its major business units.

› Localtopia will return to St. Petersburg with more than 300 vendors
Organizers of the small business shopping festival known as Localtopia said they are “definitely proceeding” with this year’s celebration in Williams Park in St. Petersburg. They have lined up a record number of vendors. In addition to more than 300 local makers, food trucks, artists, crafts, clothing vendors, beauty suppliers and breweries on display, four city blocks will be closed to cars for more tables and a second stage for live music.

› Miami Hack Week aims to show Miami’s tech momentum more than hype
If there were any doubts the momentum of Miami’s tech movement was slowing, the upcoming Miami Hack Week should put them to bed. About 1,000 attendees are expected to participate in the slew of events planned for Jan. 23-30. The week will feature giant global technology, energy and financial sector investor SoftBank and startup venture backer Atomic as co-sponsors.

› They're back: 22 big events look forward to in '22 in the Jacksonville area
A lot of big events that people in Jacksonville are used to attending every year have been missing from the calendar for the last few year, thanks to the pandemic. But (fingers crossed), they're back for '22 and, hopefully, for years to come.

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Deauville hotel may be demolished: Watch drone footage of what it looks like now
Deauville hotel may be demolished: Watch drone footage of what it looks like now

The historic Deauville Beach Resort may be demolished as Miami Beach’s building official issued a demolition order on Jan. 20, following an inspection of the deteriorating hotel. Watch drone footage of what the hotel looks like now.

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