October 5, 2022

Tuesday's Daily Pulse

What you need to know about Florida today

| 9/20/2022

Florida's bar exam passage rate lowest in a decade

People who took the Florida Bar exam for the first time in July posted the lowest passage rate for July test-takers in a decade, a review of the data by The News Service of Florida shows. The Florida Board of Bar Examiners on Monday published results of the July exam showing that 64.4 percent of the 2,225 first-time participants passed. As a comparison, 80.2 percent of 3,034 first-time participants passed the Bar exam in July 2012. Since then, the lowest passage rate before this year was 67.2 percent in 2018. [Source: News Service of Florida]

Florida ranks 48th in teacher pay

Florida most recently ranked 48th in the nation in average public school teacher pay, according to the National Education Association, which compiles the data annually. It was ranked 47th when DeSantis took office. The state estimates it will rank 9th in the nation for starting salaries in the 2022-2023 school year, according to the Florida Department of Education. More from the Tampa Bay Times and the AP.

State tees up money for job training

The state is targeting about $30 million for job-training programs tied to the aerospace, aviation, defense, cybersecurity and information-technology industries. "We've really been intent on making sure that those industries have a lot of people that they can hire who have the skills that we need," Gov. Ron DeSantis said Friday during an appearance at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach. [Source: News Service of Florida]

'I’ve never had to struggle like this': Residents raise alarm about growing need for food help

Statewide, an estimated 3.9 million of Florida’s 21 million people are struggling with food insecurity, according to statistics from Farm Share, a nonprofit food bank that distributes fruits, vegetables, and meat to people in need from Miami to Melbourne. Food insecurity means those lacking consistent access to enough food for every person in a household to live an active, healthy life. [Source: Florida Today]

New Orlando airport terminal is $2.8 billion bet on Florida tourism

With 40.3 million passengers last year, Orlando International Airport was the busiest airport in Florida, according to Airports Council International. However, that figure was still a fifth below the number of passengers in 2019 before the coronavirus pandemic. For 2022, the airport had a rolling 12-month total at the end of June of 47 million passengers, just shy of the 50.6 million who came in 2019. The addition of Terminal C gives the airport the ability to handle 12 million more passengers at the terminal’s 15 new gates in a first phase, increasing the airport’s capacity by a quarter. [Source: AP]


› Florida gasoline prices continue to dip
Florida motorists paid an average of $3.41 a gallon for regular unleaded gasoline Monday, as prices continue to dip, according to the AAA auto club. Monday’s average price was down 3 cents from a week earlier and 15 cents from a month earlier. Florida set a record with an average of $4.89 a gallon on June 13.

› Central Florida organizations discuss aid for Puerto Rico amid fifth anniversary of Hurricane María
With the five-year anniversary of Hurricane María’s devastation of Puerto Rico on Tuesday and Hurricane Fiona’s impact on the island Saturday, Central Florida organizations mobilized to acquire aid for Puerto Rico. During an hour-long call Monday, local and state leaders, several social organizations and others discussed efforts to once again help Puerto Rico, if it is needed, after Hurricane Fiona’s damaging winds and rain.

› Mayor Lauren Poe tells Ron DeSantis administration to send migrants, $12 million to Gainesville
Gainesville Mayor Lauren Poe is asking for the state to send Venezuelan immigrants to the city he oversees and says that the influx of residents would be welcomed with open arms. The mayor's comments were written on Twitter in response to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis taking credit for sending two planes of immigrants to Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts last week at the cost of taxpayers to showcase his disapproval of the Biden administration's immigration policies.

› As electricity costs surge, more Hillsborough residents are struggling to keep their lights on
The cost of electricity increased for the fourth consecutive month in August, marking the largest year-over-year price jump since 1981, according to the Consumer Price Index released on Tuesday. Electric companies in Florida this month asked to increase customers' monthly electric bills in 2023 to offset the cost of natural gas. Meanwhile, in the greater Tampa Bay region, there's evidence that more people are having problems paying their electric bills as prices surge.

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