December 11, 2023

Tuesday's Daily Pulse

What you need to know about Florida today

| 10/3/2023

What a potential "super El Niño" could mean for Florida this winter

It was shy at first, unsure of its footing in the tepidly warm waters of the equatorial Pacific Ocean, but El Niño has matured since its June awakening and could rival the strongest events on record through winter. Researchers at the National Center for Atmospheric Research are even more bullish on their forecast, predicting a “super” El Niño akin to the recent 2015-2016 event dubbed Godzilla for its power. [Source: Palm Beach Post]

DeSantis vows to lower gas prices, but opposes offshore oil drilling in Florida

Gov. Ron DeSantis is promising to return America to the days of $2-a-gallon gasoline if he becomes president by unleashing domestic energy production, even though he’s opposed offshore drilling and fracking in his own state. DeSantis’ energy record has come under scrutiny as presidential rival Nikki Haley accuses him of not matching his campaign rhetoric with action. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]

Florida toll relief program saves over $300 million for drivers

Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Florida Department of Transportation announced that Floridians have saved more than $300 million through the Toll Relief Program since January. In August, 1.2 million customers saved nearly $40 million. In the one-year Florida Department of Transportation program, travelers with at least 35 monthly toll transactions receive a 50% toll credit to their account. [Source: WFTV]

New study finds it costs more than $200,000 to raise a child in Florida

Having and raising kids has never been cheap, and like everything else, it’s only getting more expensive. But a new LendingTree study found that the average essential cost to raise a small child – and we’re talking the bare essentials like food, clothes, transportation and child care—rose nearly 20% between 2016 and 2021. According to the study, it can cost about $200,390 to raise a kid over 18 years in Florida. [Source: NBC Miami]

Proposed conservation area could help protect the Florida Wildlife Corridor

The federal government is proposing a wildlife conservation area to include parts of twelve counties, ranging from Polk and Manatee south to Hendry and Collier. It includes the watersheds of the Peace River, Myakka River, Fisheating Creek and Caloosahatchee River. It would use federal dollars to leverage existing projects, including a wildlife corridor that allows Florida panthers to migrate north from the Everglades. [Source: WLEN]


› Watch out, New York. Miami makes debut as a major finance hub in key ranking
Miami’s pandemic-driven rise as a major tech and finance hub just got another boost after the Magic City made its debut in a key ranking of the world’s top financial centers. Miami came in at No. 24 worldwide and No. 7 nationally in the 34th edition of the Global Financial Centres Index. The index, compiled every March and September by London-based think tank Z/Yen and the China Development Institute, is followed by policymakers and key investors.

› Film Florida seeks Orange County money to bring back big-budget movie making
Film Florida, the Kissimmee-based advocate for Florida's TV, film and digital media industry, is seeking to tap into Orange County hotel tax collections to bring big-budget movie productions back to the region — a move it says would boost tourism as well as the economy.

› Recording captured private conversation in between Fort Lauderdale meetings. Did it violate people’s privacy?
They don’t remember what they were talking about. But they do remember being surprised to see a recording device about the size of a TV remote still playing after the Fort Lauderdale commission meeting had ended. They thought their conversation was off-limits. Private, for their ears only. So Brian Donaldson, Bill Brown and Jacquelyn Scott — three residents who were in the middle of a private chat when they noticed the recording device — complained to the city manager, who in turn alerted the police chief.

› Disney World donating $1.5 million to Florida nonprofits
Walt Disney World announced new donations of $1.5 million to 19 nonprofit organizations in Florida on Monday. The company’s 2023 grants are going to groups that work with homelessness, poverty, environmental protection, education, arts, science, youth issues and other causes. “Florida has been our home for more than half a century and each organization receiving a grant is doing amazing work for our community,” Rena Langley, senior vice president of communications & public affairs at Disney World, said.

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