Friday's Daily Pulse
What you need to know about Florida today
Florida's health coverage rate is improving, but still lags behind most of the US
With top Florida lawmakers signaling that health-care issues could be a priority during next year’s legislative session, a report released Thursday showed that Florida saw improvement in 2022 in people having health insurance — but still trailed most of the country. The U.S. Census Bureau report estimated that 11.2 percent of Floridians were uninsured in 2022, down from 12.1 percent in 2021. The rates reflected insurance provided in employer-based plans and purchased privately, along with coverage through government programs such as Medicaid and Medicare. [Source: News Service of Florida]
Get top news-to-know with Florida Trend's headline-focused video newsbrief, hosted by digital content specialist Aimée Alexander.
Florida jobless claims remain steady
First-time unemployment claims in Florida went up after the Labor Day weekend, but the number was similar to the weekly average since the start of the year. The U.S. Department of Labor on Thursday issued a report that said an estimated 5,418 jobless claims were filed in Florida during the week that ended Sept. 9. That was up from 4,812 claims during the previous week and slightly below the weekly average of 5,768 claims since the start of the year. [Source: News Service of Florida]
This is how much you need to make to live alone in Florida, new report says
Living alone in Florida is expensive, a new report shows. The price of essentials like gas and groceries has increased by 3.2% nationwide in the past year, according to the Consumer Price Index report from July 2023. That means that the amount of money required to live and work in the U.S. has gone up, too. In Florida, a single person must make $57,064 per year to cover all of their expenses. This places Florida 30th on the ranking of states by income requirements. [Source: Miami Herald]
Can harvesting Indian River Lagoon's algae make a healthier river, good shoes, fuel or ink?
They might just be "skimming the surface," but promoters of a novel way pulling harmful algae from the Indian River Lagoon say it's off to a good start. Algae produces about 70% of the Earth's oxygen through photosynthesis, but in excess can become a killer. Harvesting that excess by barge has worked in fresh water lakes, in canals and near marinas. Now AECOM's using almost $1 million in state grant money to prove their way works in our semi-salty lagoon at large. [Source: Florida Today]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› DeSantis launches billboards in Illinois to encourage police to move to Florida
"Citizenship Matters. Law Enforcement Matters." "Make the Smart Move to Florida!" These are the slogans on billboards Gov. Ron DeSantis is launching in Chicago and surrounding areas in Illinois to encourage officers in the city to move to Florida, offering them a signing cash bonus of $5,000 if they do.
› New numbers show why it’s tough for budget-conscious buyers to land a South Florida home
Since 2019 prior to the pandemic, the number of houses and condominiums for sale at or below the median sales prices in South Florida has plunged. New figures quantify the extremely tight supply of homes in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties that middle-class homebuyers can typically afford, and show a prime reason why many house hunters haven’t been able to find houses or condos they can afford to buy.
› Ballots are set in Orlando ahead of November contests for mayor, commissioners
Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer will have a familiar opponent on the November ballot, in what the 20-year mayor says will be his last hurrah. After qualifying ended at noon, Dyer will officially face former city commissioner and mayoral candidate Sam Ings, fitness professional and first-time candidate Tony Vargas, and former state Senate candidate Steve Dixon.
› An ocean drone launched from St. Petersburg into Hurricane Idalia. Here’s what it saw.
One day before Hurricane Idalia smashed into Florida’s Big Bend region, a bright orange ocean drone crossed paths with the major hurricane in a turbulent Gulf of Mexico. Shaped like a sailboat and stretching 23 feet long, the unmanned research vehicle, dubbed a saildrone, was a long way from its home in St. Petersburg. Roughly 200 nautical miles from Idalia’s eye on Aug. 29, as an angry sea tossed and toiled, the vehicle began recording video.
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