December 2, 2022

Wednesday's Afternoon Update

What you need to know about Florida today

| 2/16/2022

Lawmakers want salary hikes for state workers but there’s a conundrum

As lawmakers craft the 2022-23 state budget, the House and Senate are pushing to boost pay for state employees, local school staffers and certain health care workers. But the two chambers are far apart in getting the job done, and it’s not certain which avenue is better when it comes to doling out the pay raises. As it stands now, the Florida House wants to see a pay increase of 5.38 percent for the state workforce as inflation rises. Meanwhile, the Florida Senate is pushing a minimum wage increase of $15 an hour for state workers and a broader pool of employees. More from the Florida Phoenix.

Trending Today

Florida Trend joins partnership for “Before You Vote” televised debate project in races for governor, U.S. Senate

Florida Trend, the Sunshine State’s highly respected “Business Authority,” has joined the “Decision 2022: Before You Vote” televised debate project as a key partner in the planned general election faceoffs this fall for Governor and U.S. Senator. The longest-running televised debate project in Florida’s modern history expects national interest in the debates to be held at Palm Beach State College’s Lake Worth campus in mid-October. More from Florida Trend.

Manatee and Sarasota counties seek applicants to fill hundreds of job openings

Finding employees has become increasingly difficult during the COVID-19 pandemic, and local governments are getting creative to help fill hundreds of open positions. Both Manatee and Sarasota counties are preparing special hiring events to attract applicants to fill out their staff. Manatee County has 268 total vacancies as of this week, ranging from custodians and camp counselors to higher-paying jobs like engineers and paramedics. The county had 136 open positions at this same time last year. More from the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.

Northwest Florida solar companies say new bill will pull the plug on their growing industry

Northwest Florida solar companies are worried they'll soon be turning off the lights on their businesses if a new net metering bill before the Florida Legislature becomes law. Justin Wolf, CEO of Meraki Solar, moved to Pensacola to start his business more than four years ago and now has more than 360 direct employees across Florida and another 300 contracted salespeople all in the business of putting solar panels on the roofs of people's homes. More from the Pensacola News-Journal.

Crystal Lagoons planned for Palm Bay -- and maybe Melbourne and Port Canaveral, too

Crystal Lagoons planned for Palm Bay -- and maybe Melbourne and Port Canaveral, too Rick Neale Florida Today SKIP Man-made, beach-lined Crystal Lagoon complexes are slated for future construction across the Space Coast, with a 10-acre, tropical-style resort advertised for the future Emerald Lakes community in southern Palm Bay. Melbourne and Port Canaveral also are included on Crystal Lagoons' lengthy list of worldwide public-access projects "in different stages of operation, planning, design and construction." But details have not been released. More from Florida Today.

Annual U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame ceremony and gala returns to Visitor Complex in June

 Three veteran NASA astronauts will be inducted to the United States Astronaut Hall of Fame during an annual ceremony returning to the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in June. The 2022 Class of Honorees announcement comes after a year without new inductees. No new honorees were selected in 2021 due to the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic which caused the postponement of the previous year's ceremony recognizing NASA veteran astronauts Pamela Melroy, Scott Kelly, and Michael Lopez-Alegria.

» More from Florida Today.


End of an Era
No ribbing: Last Bobby Rubino’s restaurant in Florida to permanently close

floridaIt was a relic of South Florida’s 1980s heyday when Tony Roma’s and barbecued baby back ribs chains ruled the local restaurant roost. Now, the last surviving location of a once-mighty rib chain – Bobby Rubino’s – will close its doors on Saturday, Feb. 20. After 43 years of serving prime rib and colossal onion ring loaves in South Florida, Bobby Rubino’s low-slung, one-story restaurant on North Federal Highway in Pompano Beach will be demolished later this year.

» Read more from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

Tags: Daily Pulse, Afternoon Pulse

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Florida Trend Video Pick

Check out this Miami Beach art exhibit made by chimpanzees
Check out this Miami Beach art exhibit made by chimpanzees

Take a look at the ‘@rt by Chimps’ exhibit at the New World Symphony Center in Miami Beach. Chimpanzee artists painted 15 canvases that were up for sale during the fundraising event and all proceeds from sales go toward the Save The Chimps sanctuary.

Video Picks | Viewpoints@FloridaTrend

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