May 22, 2024

Thursday's Daily Pulse

What you need to know about Florida today

| 5/16/2024

Florida Trend Exclusive
Florida aviation: Sky-high ambitions

From The Jetsons to Back to the Future to The Fifth Element, flying cars have always been the stuff of science fiction, but they might be soaring through Florida’s skies sooner than you think. The state has become a hotbed for flying car companies who view it as an appealing location for their emerging industry. [Source: Florida Trend]

Florida Chamber releases 2024 Legislative Report Card

The Florida Chamber of Commerce is releasing its report grading lawmakers based on how they voted on a range of bills impacting Florida businesses during the 2024 Legislative Session. The Chamber’s 2024 Legislative Report Card considers more than 5,700 votes cast during Session, with the average lawmaker receiving an 87% — good enough for a high “B” in classroom terms. Senators were slightly more aligned with the Chamber, scoring an 89% average compared to the House at 86%. [Source: Florida Politics]

New survey shows 68% of Floridians want state to do more on climate change

A survey of more than 1,400 Floridians shows that 68% want the state government to do more to combat climate change and 69% want the federal government to do more to address the issue. However, less than half of all respondents (48%) said they would be willing to pay $10 a month to support strengthening the state’s infrastructure to contend with inclement weather. [Source: Florida Phoenix]

A healthcare giant owes millions to Florida taxpayers. Will the state see the money?

A company that owns 31 hospitals, including eight in Florida, has filed for bankruptcy. So, who’s owed money? Florida taxpayers, for one. Steward Healthcare owes nearly $14.5 million to Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration, which regulates hospitals and other healthcare facilities. The company, the largest physician-owned healthcare network in the country, runs 31 hospitals, including eight in Florida. [Source: Miami Herald]

Felon voting-rights group drops lawsuit after state plans to develop eligibility rules

Plaintiffs have dropped for now a federal lawsuit challenging how the state carried out a 2018 constitutional amendment to restore the voting rights of felons who have completed their sentences after the state said it would propose new rules for determining eligibility. The lawsuit, filed in July in Miami by the Orlando-based Florida Rights Restoration Coalition and individual plaintiffs, described a “bureaucratic morass” encountered by felons trying to find out if they were eligible to vote. [Source: News Service of Florida]


› Major League Pickleball to host playoff round in Orlando
Major League Pickleball will host part of its playoffs in Orlando. Orlando's USTA National Campus in Lake Nona will play host to the second round of the MLP Playoffs Nov. 22-24, with Dallas hosting the first round at the start of November. The league just held its first event of the year in Atlanta.

› Lawsuit: CSX ‘engaged in brazen pattern' of retaliation against employees using FMLA leave
A lawsuit alleges that CSX unlawfully discouraged employees from taking time off from work under the Family Medical Leave Act and retaliated against those who did. It was “a brazen pattern,” according to the lawsuit, which was filed in the U.S. District Court in the Middle District of Florida last week.

› Miami International Airport seeks payoff at sleep centers
Miami International Airport plans to contract with a Boynton Beach company to offer sleep center amenities to waiting passengers who aren’t looking for the full overnight amenities of the airport’s internal hotel. After advertising for bidders and getting just one that met airport specifications, the Airport and Economic Development Committee this week was to vet a deal that county Chief Operations Officer Jimmy Morales wrote could bring in $10 million over 10 years from two sleep centers.

› In thirsty Zephyrhills, moratorium on new development likely to continue
The City Council for Zephyhills, famous for its bottled water, gave its initial approval this week to extend a moratorium on new development while it wrestles with how to boost its own public water supply. The move would extend the existing moratorium by one year and would include a halt to annexations.

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Florida Trend Video Pick

Marion County leaders celebrate big boost in tourist revenue
Marion County leaders celebrate big boost in tourist revenue

Tourism leaders are celebrating a big win as Marion County has seen a record-breaking couple of months when it comes to tourist development tax revenue.


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