Tuesday's Daily Pulse
What you need to know about Florida today
Gov. Ron DeSantis signs special legislative session bills
Last week's special legislative session came amid the backdrop of the war between Israel and Hamas, with state lawmakers taking steps to show their support for Israel. One of the new laws (HB 5C) expands state sanctions against Iran, a key backer of Hamas, the Palestinian militant group that attacked Israel on Oct. 7. Two other bills passed during the session carried a total price-tag of $462 million. [Source: WFOR]
Thousands of children in Florida are without coverage after Medicaid unwinding
Nearly a quarter of a million children were ineligible for Medicaid as the state is about halfway through its redetermination process, in which the Department of Children and Family Services is reevaluating eligibility for 5.5 million Floridians. So far, DCF has disenrolled around 260,000 children from Medicaid across the state. The state plan was to have those qualifying children enter Florida’s kid healthcare plan… Only 25,000 have enrolled. The state doesn't have information on what's happened to the other 235,000. [Source: WUSF]
Darryl Rouson, Lindsay Cross file bills to add commercial uses to urban ag projects
Sen. Darryl Rouson and Rep. Lindsay Cross, both representing parts of St. Petersburg, have filed identical bills in their respective legislative chambers to expand the definition of “urban agriculture” to include new commercial agricultural uses. The bills (SB 404 and HB 397) would add new commercial agricultural uses to a Florida state statute that allows for urban agriculture pilot projects in areas where agricultural uses aren’t necessarily part of the zoning. [Source: Florida Politics]
Late mortgage payments spiking in some areas, but not Sarasota-Manatee, or Florida
Construction Coverage analyzed data from the bureau's mortgage performance trends and said just 0.8% of mortgaged properties in Sarasota were late on a payment with seriously delinquent — 90 days or more — mortgages accounting for just 0.2% of properties in the two-county area. [Source: Sarasota Herald-Tribune]
Georgia developer facing lawsuit over allegedly flooding Orange County cemetery
The 370 plaintiffs listed in the lawsuit allege the 100-year-old cemetery flooded because the developer redirected water away from one of their new neighborhoods.[Source: Spectrum News]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› CSX donates $1 million to Jacksonville Zoo for new train station
CSX Corp. donated $1 million to the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens to build a new train station by fall 2025 as part of the company's upcoming 200th anniversary celebration.The open-air zoo train carries visitors around the entire grounds with several stops along the way. The new station, to be called the CSX Bicentennial Train Station, will be constructed at the entrance of the zoo.
› New report finds widening gender diversity gap at Florida public companies
For the past two years, the Florida Census of Women Corporate Directors report has provided a look at the percentage of women serving on boards among Florida companies on the Russell 3000 Index. Nationally, Florida is 4 percentage points below the R3000 average and in second-to-last place among the 25 states in female representation on boards at more than 20 companies on the R3000, the research has found.
› Onboard adventures await on cruise ships sailing from South Florida
A 9.5-foot replica of the Statue of Liberty greets passengers in the casino, while a 27.5-foot LED wall displays the New York City skyline. This ship, inspired by the Big Apple and its “spirit of discovery and cultural experience,” was designed to sail in warm climates.MSC Seashore also features a pirate-themed outdoor waterpark, whirlpools, an infinity pool and a 25,000-square-foot spa. Guests can also partake in a cupcake decorating class, where the ship’s culinary team teaches passengers of all ages how to decorate desserts.
› Bill would give DeSantis power to punish those who remove Confederate memorials
Gov. Ron DeSantis would have the authority to remove and fine any elected official involved in the taking down of Confederate and other historical memorials in the state under a bill filed for the next legislative session. The measure (HB 395), filed last week by state Rep. Dean Black, R-Jacksonville, also would require the state to pay the costs to find a new location for and publicly display the statue of Confederate Gen. Edmund Kirby Smith that stood in the U.S. Capitol for nearly a century, representing Florida.
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