Wednesday's Daily Pulse
What you need to know about Florida today
A look ahead to Florida's legislative session
When lawmakers meet in March for the legislative session, they are obligated to pass a state budget. But school vouchers, health insuranc reforms, and other key issues are also on the agenda. WMFE's Talia Blake caught up with Sadaf Knight, CEO of Florida Policy Institute, to talk about the state budget, what bills she’s watching this session, and more. [Source: WMFE]
‘Tens of thousands’ of Florida bird flu cases now include sandhill cranes, white pelicans
Florida’s unprecedented outbreak of a highly infectious bird flu strain among wild birds has spread to two more iconic species: Sandhill cranes and white pelicans, wildlife officials confirmed to the Tampa Bay Times Tuesday. The birds are the latest additions to a growing list of well-known species — including bald eagles and great horned owls — confirmed to have contracted highly pathogenic avian influenza, or HPAI. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]
Florida will pay more than $1.3 million in Medicaid transgender case
Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration has authorized more than $1.3 million for legal and expert-witness fees in the state’s effort to ban Medicaid coverage of treatments for transgender people, a review of state records by The News Service of Florida shows. The Agency for Health Care Administration, which largely oversees the Medicaid program, last year issued a rule banning coverage for hormone therapy, puberty blockers and surgery, drawing pushback from the LGBTQ community. [Source: News Service of Florida]
Lack of housing an issue for seasonal ag workers
When NIMBY meets agriculture, things can go sideways. So it is for municipalities and workforce housing for the men and women who work Florida’s fields. The topic became one of discussion in the Senate Committee on Agriculture recently. “When you’re talking about housing, where are you currently housing your employees?” asked Melbourne Republican Sen. Debbie Mayfield to David Hill, owner of Southern Hill Farms and Chairman of the Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association. [Source: Florida Politcs]
Florida Supreme Court won’t temporarily stop 15-week abortion law
The Florida Supreme Court on Monday rejected requests to halt a law that prevents abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. Justices, in a 4-1 decision, turned down a motion by seven abortion clinics and a doctor for a stay of a ruling by the 1st District Court of Appeal that kept the law in place. The one-paragraph decision did not detail the Supreme Court’s reasoning. [Source: News Service of Florida]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› Maker of automatic doors moves HQ from California to Tampa
Citing lower costs of doing business, a large talent pool, access to Port Tampa Bay and other qualities, Autoslide, a manufacturer of automatic door systems, has moved its headquarters from Glendale, California, to Tampa. The relocation to Tampa will initially create 15 jobs, but Autoslide expects to move some of its product assembly work from Australia to Tampa, which would lead to more available positions.
› AdventHealth opens clinic to treat, research long-haul COVID patients
Nearly three years into the pandemic, AdventHealth is working to better understand the long-term effects of COVID-19. Health officials at AdventHealth gave an update Tuesday on its first of its kind clinic aimed to treat and research what they call long-haul COVID. While AdventHealth is taking long-haul COVID patients at its new clinic, there is a wait list for those want appointments.
› The organizers of Ultra Music Festival are taking over this former Miami Beach hotspot
A new electronic music nightclub is coming to Miami and opening in conjunction with Ultra Music Festival. M2 Miami is set to open in South Beach on Washington Avenue during Miami Music Week in March. The previous home to Mansion, the two-floor 35,000 square-foot venue, recently underwent a multi-million dollar renovation.
› New Sarasota performing arts center receives second $10 million gift
The proposed Sarasota Performing Arts Center has received a major new gift that matches its biggest donation to date: $10 million to support the architecture and design phase of the project. The Sarasota Performing Arts Center Foundation, the new name for what had been the Van Wezel Foundation, has announced a $10 million gift from the Paul Seed Fund at KBF Canada.
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