Thursday's Daily Pulse
What you need to know about Florida today
How Ron DeSantis became a presidential candidate and what could happen next
Just a little over four years ago, Ron DeSantis took the reins of the nation’s third-largest state as a fresh-faced young governor with no executive experience who benefitted heavily from Florida’s embrace of Donald Trump. His razor-thin win came after a campaign that, in its early stages, drew only a few dozen people for in-person rallies. On Wednesday, DeSantis announced his run for the presidency. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]
» Technical problems mar DeSantis’ presidential announcement on Twitter with Elon Musk
» 55 things you need to know about Ron DeSantis
» DeSantis signs bill allowing him to run for president without resigning
Registration now open for 2023 Florida Python Challenge
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials said even though Burmese pythons are large animals, they are notoriously difficult to find and pose a threat to native wildlife. Because these snakes require specific handling guidelines and are tough to spot, all participants in the challenge must take an online training course. The course is designed to help hunters more effectively find the snakes and remove them from the wild. According to event organizers, during the 2022 challenge, a record 231 pythons were rounded up in the Everglades. [Source: WPLG]
Federal court to hold a hearing on May 31 in Florida prescription drugs lawsuit
Gov. Ron DeSantis and his administration are currently locked in an ongoing legal battle with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration after the agency stalled efforts by Florida to get cheaper prescription drugs abroad. The U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida will hold a hearing on the lawsuit on May 31 to hear arguments on the state's challenge to an order from Magistrate Judge Julie Sneed that curtailed the state's 42 requests for information through the discovery process. [Source: The Center Square]
Florida DEO announces $40 million in loans through State Small Business Credit Initiative 2.0
The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) announced this week that already more than $40 million in loans to 14 Florida small businesses have been obligated through the Florida State Small Business Credit Initiative 2.0 (SSBCI 2.0), stimulating more than $137 million in private capital lending and creating or retaining more than 340 jobs for Floridians. SSBCI 2.0 is a reauthorization and an expansion of the State Small Business Credit Initiative, which was originally created through the Small Business Jobs Act in 2010 to help states strengthen and/or create new capital programs that support the financing of small businesses. [Source: Florida Daily]
What’s going on? Groups question Florida’s Medicaid re-determination process
Fifty-two organizations are asking Gov. Ron DeSantis to “pause” the state’s Medicaid disenrollment efforts long enough to review the process and to ensure Florida families are being made aware they need to apply for the safety net health care program. The request comes after data showed that about 250,000 people were disenrolled from Medicaid in April, most of whom were purged from the program for procedural reasons. [Source: Florida Politics]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› Feeling hungry? Five Florida restaurants ranked among Yelp’s ‘Top 100 Burgers in America’
Five Florida restaurants made Yelp’s “Top 100 Burgers in America” list — just in time for National Burger Day on May 28. Unfortunately, none of them are located in Northeast Florida. The site based the rankings on reviews by Yelp users. According to Yelp, you’ll have to travel to Georgia to taste the best burger in the country. Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q in Atlanta made the top of the list with nearly 2,500 5-star reviews on the site.
› 'Grey Ghost' USS Orleck naval museum reopening in permanent home in downtown Jacksonville
Jacksonville's resident warship is once again ready for visitors. The U.S.S. Orleck, which earned the nickname "The Grey Ghost of the Vietnam Coast" by firing more rounds in support of ground troops than any ship in the Navy, will officially open for visitors on Friday in its permanent berth in the St. Johns River, just off Bay Street across from the Duval County Jail. A "soft opening" is planned for Wednesday and Thursday.
› Developer paid Miami’s mayor $170K to push his project, company records state
A developer quietly paid Miami Mayor Francis Suarez at least $170,000 over the past two years to help cut through red tape and secure critical permits for his stalled real estate project in Coconut Grove, according to internal corporate records exclusively obtained by the Miami Herald.
› Red tide? Seaweed blob? Nope, scientists are watching a different algae off Tampa Bay
Florida researchers are watching an algae bloom drifting offshore of the Tampa Bay area — and no, it’s not red tide or a looming blob of seaweed. Scientists are monitoring a patchy cloud of “sea sawdust” that has ebbed and flowed in the Gulf of Mexico for nearly a week, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute. The blue-green algae species, known as Trichodesmium, is often found in tropical waters and blooms off Southwest Florida.
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