Monday's Daily Pulse
What you need to know about Florida today
'Spiraling downhill': Florida homeowners insurance crisis worsening
A crumbling Florida homeowners insurance market will likely not stabilize any time soon. Tens of thousands of homeowners statewide are at risk of losing their insurance policies, as dozens of regional carriers face potential rating downgrades that would deem these companies financially unstable and unable to adequately pay claims. That's because insurers are bleeding, primarily caused by fraudulent roofing schemes, increasing replacement costs and limited legislative oversight. More from Insurance News Net and TC Palm.
Florida to get $70 million in transportation resilience money this year
Florida will get $70 million this fiscal year to address the effects of climate change on transportation infrastructure and evacuation routes as part of a new federal program. In all, the program could send $364 million to the state for such projects over five years. The Federal Highway Administration on Friday announced the funding, as it outlined the $7.3 billion Promoting Resilient Operations for Transformative, Efficient, and Cost-Saving Transportation, or PROTECT, program. [Source: News Service of Florida]
New space race holds promise, but possible environmental risks, too
With the commercial space industry rapidly expanding, more states are vying to host launch sites for satellites and other cargo, hoping to tap a new and growing revenue source. But even as “spaceport” proposals proliferate from Georgia to Maine to Michigan — far away from long-established federal launch sites in California and FloridaÃ¢ — they’re drawing pushback over fears they could harm sensitive habitats, public safety and even drinking water. [Source: Washington Post]
NASA given OK to extend space station to 2030
While Congress was passing a bill to support U.S. production of semiconductors on Thursday, it also gave the first authorization act for NASA in five years that included the thumbs up to keep the International Space Station running until 2030. Meanwhile, the head of the Russian space agency indicated the agency has not committed to an exact date to leave the ISS after reports the nation would depart the station after 2024. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]
The Florida Wildlife Corridor Act is a year old. Here's what it does.
The Florida Wildlife Corridor is a state-wide network of public and private lands encompassing nearly 18-million acres that stretches from the Panhandle to the Everglades. The corridor isn’t one long stretch of natural land, but a patchwork of green spaces, like national and state parks, forests, and the rivers and streams that pass through them. [Source: WUSF]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› Miami bank gets $250 million from Treasury for loans to minority businesses
Banesco USA, a Miami bank focused on commercial lending in South Florida and Puerto Rico, has received a $250 million capital injection from the U.S. Treasury, which will allow it to increase lending to small and large companies, especially those owned by minorities. The funds are part of the Emergency Capital Investment Program, which supports minorities most economically affected by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
› 8th property insurance company pauses new business in Florida
Another property insurance company announced Thursday it will be pausing new business in Florida “until further notice” amid the state’s ongoing homeowners insurance crisis. According to a news release obtained by 8 On Your Side Investigative Reporter Mahsa Saeidi, American Traditions Insurance Company will temporarily stop taking new business starting next week. The pause impacts homeowners insurance policies, condo unit owners policies and dwelling policies often used by landlords.
› Intrigue grows in Florida’s ‘ghost’ candidate case as prosecutors seek more info
Prosecutors subpoenaed records related to a $600,000 money transfer between dark money organizations tied to an ongoing Miami-Dade criminal case surrounding “ghost candidates” in the 2020 election, according to court records unveiled Friday. The transfer is adding a new layer of intrigue to a years-long question into who paid for thousands of political mail advertisements to promote sham no-party candidates in three contested Florida races that were key to helping solidify the Republican majority in the state Senate.
› Carnival, Royal Caribbean among cruise lines relaxing COVID test requirements
Carnival Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean Cruises are among those shifting COVID-19 test requirement policies in the wake of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention formally ending its COVID-19 guidance program. Carnival announced Friday it will no longer require pre-cruise testing for those who have been vaccinated on its sailings of five days or less beginning Aug. 4. It will still require pre-cruise testing for sailings six nights or longer, but can be conducted within three days of departure.
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