Wednesday's Afternoon Update
What you need to know about Florida today
Florida’s biggest insurer wants 14% rate hike, warns of ‘hurricane tax’ if big storm hits
Millions of Florida homeowners could see their already skyrocketing insurance costs soar even higher. The board overseeing Citizens, the state-run company that is Florida’s largest home insurer, voted Wednesday to seek a 14 percent rate increase. And the insurer also warns that it could need to impose what industry experts call a “hurricane tax” this year — a yet-to-be-determined fee imposed on all property insurance holders in the state. More from the Miami Herald and the News Service of Florida.
Proposed changes to Florida's annexation law may imperil North Port contraction effort
The state Legislature is considering two bills that would change state annexation laws that some city residents fear would sink their efforts to separate from North Port by giving owners of undeveloped land a say in Florida's de-annexation process. Similar legislation never made it out of committee in the 2022 session but this year both bills on the issue are advancing. Here’s what you need to know about the legislation, where it’s going, and what it would mean for how cities could both expand and contract. More from the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.
Miami fines mogul for renting out his mansion for parties
Miami is slapping red-light camera mogul John Petrozza with a six-figure fine after he racked up numerous violations for illegally renting out his Belle Meade Island waterfront estate for pandemic-era parties. The Miami City Commission unanimously voted last week to charge Mr. Petrozza $229,500 for short-term rental violations at his 8,000-square-foot mansion that overlooks Biscayne Bay. More from the Miami Today.
An Aruba connection: JaxPort signs pact with island recovering from pandemic
Four years after a chance meeting at a sports-fishing tradeshow in Orlando sparked talks about trade ties with Aruba, state Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis joined the prime minister of the Caribbean island and JaxPort leaders in signing an agreement between the port authority and Aruba. The ceremony Monday came at a JaxPort board meeting that also featured the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announcing it will return at least $35 million to JaxPort because the cost of deepening the St. Johns River came in well under budget. More from the Florida Times-Union and Florida Trend.
Expo held to feature, promote minority-owned businesses in North Central Florida
Women and other minority-owned businesses from across North Central Florida gathered in Gainesville to promote their products and network with other business owners. About 50 vendors participated in this year's "I'm DOPE (Definitely on Personal Elevation) Expo." This was the fourth year the event has been held, and it again attracted a lot of people who benefited from showcasing their businesses and learning about products and services that are available locally, said Katie McKnight, CEO and founder of "I'm DOPE," whose mission since it was established in 2018 is to empower women entrepreneurs and others. More from the Gainesville Sun.
Pickleball players are courting city officials for more space to play in Miami-Dade
The pickleball craze shows no signs of letting up in Miami-Dade County. Residents are clamoring for more courts and cities are scrambling to satisfy the growing popularity of the sport. Municipalities trying to meet that demand are employing “creative” solutions, such as adding a temporary court onto a rooftop parking lot, planning a stand-alone complex that could cost over $1 million and striping pickleball lines onto preexisting tennis and basketball courts.
» More from the Miami Herald.
How one Florida woman broke into the male-dominated world of construction
A 2022 analysis from the Washington Post found that women made up 14.5% of Florida’s construction workforce. That’s one of the highest levels in the country, preceded only by Washington D.C. and Arizona. Samira Kraziem works for Suffolk Construction, a national building services company with an office in Tampa. She discusses how she went from a receptionist to a senior project manager.
» Read more from the Tampa Bay Times.
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