April 24, 2024

Tuesday's Daily Pulse

What you need to know about Florida today

| 4/2/2024

Key takeaways from the Florida Supreme Court’s abortion rulings

In a momentous day for reproductive health in Florida, the state’s Supreme Court on Monday issued opinions that usher in a six-week abortion ban but leave open a way for the state’s voters to protect and expand access to the procedure. Justices ruled 6-1 to uphold Florida’s 15-week abortion ban. The ruling allows a far stricter six-week ban to take effect within 30 days. But, conversely, the court Monday also voted 4-3 to allow a proposed constitutional amendment that protects the right to abortion to go before voters in the November election. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

See also:
» Recreational weed will be on Florida’s 2024 ballot, Supreme Court rules

State renews price break for drivers on toll roads

Commuters who rely on Florida’s plethora of toll roads are about to save some money. The state is renewing a discount program that was in place last year, and expired at the beginning of 2024. Gov. Ron DeSantis said Monday it’s being renewed for another year, effective immediately. The program applies across the state, the governor said at a news conference in Miami, but “South Florida and Central Florida have the most, of course, and I think more people will save in those two regions than others.” [Source: Orlando Sentinel]

Florida builders sue Biden administration over labor union favoritism

Associated Builders and Contractors and its Florida First Coast chapter filed a lawsuit Thursday in federal court to stop what it calls the Biden administration's "unlawful scheme to mandate project labor agreements on construction contracts procured by federal agencies." The builders say they estimate that Biden's labor agreements policy will affect at least 180 federal construction contracts valued at $16 billion across America, on an annual basis. [Source: Business Observer]

Another big rate hike for Florida homeowners?

Another potential rate hike awaits Florida homeowners with yet another insurer filing a proposal to increase its prices. Homeowners’ insurance rate increases in Florida present a mixed bag of implications for policyholders and the insurance market. On the positive side, higher rates can lead to a more stable insurance market, ensuring that companies have sufficient reserves to cover claims, especially in a state prone to hurricanes and other natural disasters. [Source: Insurance Business Magazine]

Florida AG warns residents over tax debt relief scams

Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody is warning Floridians about tax debt relief scams. According to the Internal Revenue Service, more than 18 million taxpayers owed more than $300 billion in overdue taxes in 2022. Moody and other officials say scammers may attempt to trick those owing taxes with promises of exceedingly low-cost tax debt relief programs. [Source: WFTV]


› Florida town designed to be next NYC didn’t work out. Here’s why
Sanford is charming and inviting. It boasts a growing craft beer scene and enough restaurants and small shops to keep you engaged all weekend long. But, the original plans for the city were much larger. Brigitte Stephenson is the museum curator at the Sanford Museum. She talked to Matt Austin and Ginger Gadsden on Florida’s Fourth Estate about what almost was.

› St. Petersburg Mayor Ken Welch and the Rays – A courtship of ‘consensus’
It’s been six months since St. Petersburg Mayor Ken Welch announced that he had struck a deal with the Rays to keep them in town, something that eluded his predecessors for more than a decade. Yet during the subsequent haggling over the fine print with the Rays, he’s frustrated stadium skeptics by keeping a low profile between scripted announcements, with some council members urging him for more disclosure.

› Her love of words began in Miami-Dade’s public libraries. Now she’s the county’s poet laureate
Before she was an award-winning poet and educator, Caridad Moro-Gronlier was a little girl in a Miami-Dade County public library who loved to read and read and read and read. When her parents, Cuban immigrants, bought her books for Christmas, she read them over and over into tatters, like well-loved teddy bears. Maybe one day, she thought to herself, her words could impact someone else the way Judy Blume’s did for her.

› How the biohacking industry is taking shape in Southwest Florida
Credit the nationwide doctor shortage, more literature surrounding mental and physical health, high medical-care costs, an aging population of baby boomers or any combination thereof, but people are taking serious strides to try improving their well-being themselves. Enter biohacking, a trendy term for making changes to one’s biology through diet, lifestyle and other avenues in an attempt to combat issues relating to chronological age.

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