Tuesday's Daily Pulse
What you need to know about Florida today
Small business confidence is high in the Sunshine State
Despite the onslaught of challenges, from inflation to political unrest to supply chain snarls, Florida small business owners remain an optimistic bunch. That’s the word from the eighth annual First Citizens Bank Small Business Forecast, which polls businesses in California, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina and Wisconsin. The survey found Sunshine State entrepreneurs posted the highest increase in perceived business success over the past 12 months, with 79% claiming a positive year. That’s up 25% over last year’s survey. [Source: Business Observer]
Climate change is heating up Florida. That could bring more wildfires, new report warns
When Hurricane Michael tore through North Florida in 2018 as a Category 5 storm, it left more than 3 million acres of felled trees in its wake. Those largely untouched trees were the perfect fuel for three simultaneous wildfires that raged through the region in March. Research from First Street Foundation released Monday suggests that as climate change warms the planet, the risk of wildfires like those in Florida could double by mid-century. [Source: Miami Herald]
Anticipated changes to Florida alimony law have cases piling up
During the 2022 legislative session, Florida's state lawmakers passed SB 1796. This bill, if signed into law, will change the way alimony cases are finalized, as well as retroactively change previous cases. The bill removes the court's ability to award permanent alimony. This would go into effect for both new cases, and retroactively for previous cases. [Source: WTSP]
Ruling eyed in 'big tech' fight
As a battle continues about the constitutionality of a Florida law that seeks to crack down on social-media giants such as Facebook and Twitter, a federal appeals court has allowed a similar Texas law to take effect. Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration quickly cited the move by a panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in the Texas case to urge the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to toss out a preliminary injunction that has blocked the Florida law. [Source: News Service of Florida]
State will likely take over Disney World’s Reedy Creek, DeSantis says
The state will likely assume control of Disney World’s Reedy Creek Improvement District, rather than local governments absorbing it, Gov. Ron DeSantis said Monday. DeSantis said he is working on a proposal that likely will be considered by the Legislature after the November elections. Reedy Creek, which encompasses Disney World and neighboring properties, is set to dissolve on June 1, 2023. The governor’s office hasn’t released a written plan detailing how the dissolution of Disney World’s private government will unfold. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› Florida's 'vaccine passport' ban will be heard in a federal appeals court
Gov. Ron DeSantis and other Republicans took aim at so-called “vaccine passports” as they pushed to end COVID-19 restrictions. But Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings had other ideas. After the cruise industry had been sidelined by the pandemic, the Miami-based company wanted to require passengers to show documentation they had been vaccinated against COVID-19.
› Bill to revamp Florida Citrus Commission sent to governor
Gov. Ron DeSantis received a bill that makes adjustments to the Florida Citrus Commission, a state agency charged with regulating the citrus industry in the state. House Bill 1097 expands the commission’s size, adds new citrus districts, and creates new requirements for membership. The bill comes as Florida’s citrus output remains low, according to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
› Weather looks OK for back-to-back SpaceX and ULA launches this week
Conditions look favorable for the Space Coast's next slate of back-to-back launches flying from both Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Space Force Station this week. If schedules hold, SpaceX is up first at KSC's pad 39A with yet another batch of Starlink internet satellites set for liftoff between 6:10 a.m. and 7:10 a.m. ET Wednesday, May 18. The Space Force on Monday said conditions should be 80% "go" for that liftoff of a Falcon 9 rocket.
› Ukrainian Pierogi Bar finds new St. Petersburg home
After months of searching, a local-favorite cottage kitchen has its own storefront. Pierogi Bar bought the Mediterranean and New American restaurant O’Bistro on Thursday and will turn it into a Ukrainian diner, said Roman Voloshyn, who helps his daughter, owner Daryna Voloshyn, with the operations.
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