Wednesday's Daily Pulse
What you need to know about Florida today
Long legal fight lies ahead over the Florida law dubbed ‘don't say gay'
A legal battle over a new state law that restricts teaching about sexual orientation and gender identity in Florida classrooms could continue well into the upcoming school year. The law, which passed during this year’s legislative session and has drawn heavy national attention, will take effect July 1. Public-school classes start in mid-August in much of the state. [Source: News Service of Florida]
'Unprecedented' Florida bird flu outbreak is killing bald eagles
At least 23 bald eagles have died from a highly infectious new bird flu strain spreading through Florida's wild bird populations, according to state wildlife data. Eagles make up just a fraction of the "several thousand" estimated cases of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) among Florida's wild ducks, vultures, owls, pelicans and several other species, according to Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute spokesperson Carly Jones. [Source: Florida Times-Union]
Auto insurance costs Floridians more than nearly everywhere else in the U.S.
Floridians on average pay the second-highest share of their incomes on auto insurance premiums, according to a tally of data from price comparison website Bankrate.com. The tally, based on the website’s True Cost of Auto Insurance in 2022 annual report, compared what 40-year-old drivers with clean driving records and good credit pay across all 50 U.S. states and Washington D.C. In Florida, the average driver spends 4.42% of their income on auto insurance. That’s behind only Louisiana, where drivers must spend 5.26% of their incomes. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]
$676 million available to struggling homeowners in Florida
Help has been around, but not many Florida homeowners may know about it. That's why congressional and state leaders are promoting a program that aims to prevent the loss of 20,000 homes to foreclosure. Just like rental assistance exists for tenants who can prove financial hardship during the pandemic, there are funds provided by the American Rescue Plan that allotted $676 million to help homeowners in the Sunshine State. The money can be used to help with mortgage payments, utilities, and even taxes. [Source: WTVT]
Florida’s permit plan would speed up wetlands destruction, critics say
Florida lawmakers have created a fast-track for wetland destruction that will speed up an already streamlined process that has drawn warnings from federal regulators and a lawsuit from environmentalists. Thw new pay-to-play arrangement is tucked into SB 2508, Senate President Wilton Simpson’s signature water quality bill approved by the Legislature earlier this year. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› Next Blue Origin space tourism flight to feature 1st repeat flyer
Blue Origin is gearing up for what’s becoming business as usual, so much that it’s allowing its first repeat customer. The New Shepard space tourism flight has previously flown the likes of company founder Jeff Bezos, Star Trek’s William Shatner and NFL Hall-of-Famer Michael Strahan. The upcoming launch isn’t flying with such a big name headliner, but NS-21, as in the 21st flight of the rocket, will have on board multimillionaire Evan Dick, who already flew alongside Strahan last December on NS-19.
› A new group allows young professionals to connect with their community in Gainesville
Sipping on cocktails and munching on appetizers, 50 people gathered at the Greater Gainesville Young Professionals’ monthly mixer at a restaurant in Celebration Pointe recently. Different owners and employees of local businesses who chatted with one another at MidiCi Neapolitan Pizza about personal and professional topics. At the gathering was Julianne Raymond, the Greater Gainesville Chamber development manager, who is also the program director of Gainesville Young Professionals.
› Miami startup develops software to fill newspaper columns with public notices
Jake Seaton comes from a five-generation media family, with deep roots in the American Midwest. He studied computer science and journalism at Harvard University and wanted to find a way to use technology to help shape the future of the family business and industry. Seaton founded Column, a software startup focused on the future of public notice.
› Jacksonville reviewing civil engineering plans for Downtown Shipyards project
With a goal to break ground this year, Iguana Investments Florida LLC submitted civil engineering plans with the city for the Shipyards Hotel & Residences and the office building it plans along the Downtown Northbank Riverfront near TIAA Bank Field. The plans show Iguana, the development affiliate of the Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan, proposes a 174-room, 12-story hotel, expected to be a Four Seasons; a parking garage below it; a 25-unit, 12-story residential building; and a six-story office building.
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