April 24, 2024

Friday's Afternoon Update

What you need to know about Florida today

| 2/23/2024

Thousands of workers could see changes to their wages under Florida bill

The proposed legislation — which has the backing of some of the most powerful business groups in the state — would strip the ability of counties and cities to set wage standards for private companies they hire for publicly funded work that go beyond state regulations. Local governments would still be able to dictate what they pay city and county employees, but the measure would block them from controlling what contractors pay their employees. More from the Tampa Bay Times and the Miami Herald.

Proposed state law would give new homebuyers better idea what their property taxes will be

Brevard County Property Appraiser Dana Blickley says it's the biggest complaint she and other appraisers in Florida receive: New homeowners get sticker shock when they get their tax bills, and find out their property taxes are much higher than the tax paid by the previous owner. That's because of "Save Our Homes," which caps how much a Florida homestead's assessed value can increase each year to the lesser of 3% or the rate of inflation. More from Florida Today.

The Atlantic is record-warm right now. What does that mean for hurricane season?

Hurricane season is still months away, but warm winter waters in the Atlantic Ocean are already concerning some forecasters. Water temperatures in the north Atlantic Ocean currently rival those normally seen during the summer months. By some estimates, this type of heat would only be seen once every 142,000 years. More from the Tampa Bay Times.

Orlando photographer wins top prize in international contest for SpaceX moon shot

While plenty of Central Florida photographers seek out rocket launches for stunning visual imagery, Pascal Fouquet goes out of his way to incorporate Orlando landmarks into the frame. One of Fouquet’s photos placed first in the United States for the 2024 Sony World Photography Awards. Over 395,000 images from more than 220 countries and territories were submitted for this year’s contest. More from the Orlando Sentinel.

Firm hired to remove migrants from Florida faces insurance fraud allegations

A Canadian company has been paid $45 million by Florida to transport migrants out of state and provide disaster recovery services while defending itself in court against accusations of insurance fraud involving storm clean-up efforts. The fallout from the lawsuits has left thousands of homeowners waiting on claims to pay contractors so they can finish repairing their homes while the courts sort out the legal mess. And it’s led to multiple legal filings involving ARS, the law firm and former employees. More from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

Business BeatBusiness Beat - Week of February 23rd

Get top news-to-know with Florida Trend's headline-focused video news brief, hosted by digital content specialist Aimée Alexander.



This festival is returning to Disney’s Epcot with a totally new look

Epcot’s Flower and Garden Festival opens next week for its 30th year to show off lush gardens, creative character-themed topiaries, seasonal menus and free concerts during what is typically a more temperate time of year in Florida. The festival, which runs Feb. 28 through May 27, is about a month shorter than in previous years, which could mean the hugely popular fall Food & Wine Festival will be expanding again.

» Read more from the Tampa Bay Times.

Tags: Daily Pulse, Afternoon Pulse

In case you missed it:

Florida Trend Video Pick

Florida shoe cobbler mends more than soles
Florida shoe cobbler mends more than soles

Jim McFarland, a fourth-generation shoe cobbler in Lakeland, Florida, never anticipated his trade mending shoes would lead to millions of views on social media. People are captivated by his careful craftsmanship: removing, then stitching and gluing soles on leather footwear.

Video Picks | Viewpoints@FloridaTrend

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