May 22, 2024

Monday's Daily Pulse

What you need to know about Florida today

| 4/22/2024

Florida Trend Exclusive
Florida law: Critical mass

Florida gives rise to its share of class actions and mass tort claims. That’s expected given its size as the third largest state by population and a history of pro-plaintiff laws and court rulings — a tendency GOP legislators and governors have had success in recent years reversing. For some perspective, Florida Trend spoke with defense and plaintiff attorneys around the state who practice in the class action and mass tort arena. [Source: Florida Trend]

Florida's jobless rate ticks up

Matching its highest level in two years, Florida’s unemployment rate has ticked up to 3.2 percent after holding steady for three consecutive months at 3.1 percent. The Florida Department of Commerce on Friday estimated 353,000 Floridians were out of work and actively seeking employment in mid-March, an increase of 8,000 from a month earlier. At the same time, the overall labor force grew by 7,000 to 11.097 million. [Source: News Service of Florida]

Are pollen allergies in Florida worse this year? Is climate change to blame?

Human-caused climate change is prolonging and intensifying the pollen season across the country, including in Florida. Boosted by warming temperatures, plants and trees are releasing pollen earlier. Fluctuations in the pollen season have consequences for human and environmental health, experts say. As pollen worsens, it can exacerbate respiratory conditions and just be uncomfortable. And as the planet warms, longer growing seasons can throw off the delicate balance of ecosystems. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

The people who fight for — and depend on — Everglades restoration

Tree islands in the Everglades make up the Miccosukee tribe’s ancestral homeland but are disappearing because flood control keeps water in the wetlands too high. Water management also interrupted the historic flow of water to southern marshes that helped create the islands. The world’s largest environmental restoration project, a 30-year plan to restore the Everglades, impacts millions of people who live, work and play in South Florida, from fishing captains to birders to Miccosukees. More from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel and the Miami Herald.

Florida looking at a hotter-than-average summer, NOAA says

You may want to clean out the kiddie pool and dust off the patio furniture early this year. We’re in for a hot start to summer, according to a national weather outlook released by the National Weather Service. Southern Florida in particular is expected to have an extra-hot start to summer with cities such as Miami and Fort Myers predicted to face hotter-than-average weather. The rest of Florida should see warmer temperatures as well, but not to the degree of the south. [Source: WFLA]


› Ban on public nudity among proposed Brevard tourism cultural grant modifications
Brevard County Commission Chair Jason Steele is recommending that a new restriction be put in place on county tourism grants to arts and cultural organizations -- no nudity at public events, or else you'll be disqualified from getting a grant. Steele said he is not aware of any particular past instances, and is not targeting any specific events or organizations. But he wants to make sure that grant recipients abide by state and local laws, and wants to avoid situations "that potentially could harm children."

› St. Petersburg, Pinellas County look to rein in short-term rentals
Officials in both Pinellas County and St. Petersburg have been watching a boom in short-term vacation rentals driven by growing corporate interest, and they’ve come to a similar conclusion: They need to keep a closer watch on the industry. In separate meetings on Thursday, county commissioners and City Council members talked about ways to improve oversight of the short-term rental market.

› UCF faculty members cry foul over lack of raises this year
Faculty at the University of Central Florida wanted raises this school year and, upset they’re not getting them, some held a rally this week to demand more pay. The protesters held signs in front of UCF’s administration building that read, “0% Can’t Pay Rent” and “Students Can’t Succeed When Faculty Leave!” UCF this year spent state money that might have gone to increasing salaries on efforts to boost its four-year graduation rate, which is below 55%.

› Women leaders in construction discuss sustaining South Florida’s future
As South Florida continues to attract residents and businesses alike and with rising concerns over climate change, sea-level rise, and environmental degradation, the necessity for sustainable construction practices has never been more pressing. South Florida stands at a pivotal juncture where the choices made in construction profoundly influence its future resilience and vitality.

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