100 new Florida laws go into effect Monday
More than 100 new Florida laws will take effect Monday along with the state’s record $90.98 billion budget for the next fiscal year. The new laws, passed by the Legislature this spring and signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis, deal with issues ranging from bans on texting while driving and vaping to adding toll roads and preventing local governments from uprooting vegetable gardens. More from the Orlando Sentinel and the Miami Herald.
“Addiction warnings” not coming to lottery tickets in Florida
A bill that would have required warnings on all Florida Lottery tickets will not become a law. Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis vetoed the bill Friday. In a memo that accompanied the veto, DeSantis explained that Florida Lottery revenue goes to public education and that an agency analysis showed the bill could lead to a minimum $79.4 million reduction in education funding. More from the AP and Florida Politics.
5 reasons Florida might be the most dangerous state in the country
Florida is 2019’s third-least safe state in the U.S., according to a new ranking by WalletHub. Only Louisiana and Mississippi were ranked as being more dangerous. It feels like we might actually be the most dangerous state in the union. And that’s not a particular point of pride as much as a combination of reputation and fact. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]
South Florida has 7% wage gap with nation
South Florida wages are 7% below those of the nation as a whole, a new federal report issued last week shows. The South Florida mean wage is $23.19, while the national mean is $24.98. That’s a hair better than the same report issued a year earlier, which showed the gap at 8%, with the South Florida average at $22.48 and the national mean at $24.34.. [Source: Miami Today]
'Fresh from Florida’ CBD hemp products on their way with new law
Florida consumers soon could see something similar to the famous “Fresh from Florida” logo on CBD hemp products made in the state, where hemp becomes legal July 1. Gov. Ron De Santis signed legislation late Tuesday that legalizes state-licensed hemp farming and sales in Florida. South Florida CBD makers say the law will both weed out bad apples and help them expand. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› A nationwide grocery chain has a rodent problem in Florida [Miami Herald]
Rodents ran — and pooped and urinated — at least four Family Dollar stores in Florida into failure on the stores’ most recent state inspections. At least two of those stores were closed to deal with the problem, but one of them has re-opened and remains rodent-riddled.
› Ron DeSantis extends loan program for Ag. producers affected by Hurricane Michael [Florida Politics]
Gov. Ron DeSantis is extending the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program until July 12, he announced Friday. The $25 million program was originally activated last October after Hurricane Michael ravaged the Florida panhandle. The program offers interest-free short term loans to agricultural producers in areas affected by the hurricane.
› With Players Championship back in March, tourism leaders look to add special event in Ponte Vedra area [St. Augustine Record]
The Players Championship is one of the greatest gifts ever bestowed upon the St. Johns County tourism industry. And when it moved to May, that value only increased. For a variety of competitive reasons, the PGA Tour decided to move the tournament back to March this year after having it in May since 2007. The event has remained as popular as ever with thousands of golf fans from all over the globe visiting Northeast Florida.
› Amazon opens doors to Miami-area fulfillment center. It’s as big as 14 football fields [Miami Herald]
Amazon opened the doors of its gigantic Opa-locka fulfillment center Friday, the culmination of almost a decade’s worth of deal-making and the capstone to one of the largest single job-creation projects in the history of Miami-Dade. “This will help ensure Florida is at the top when it comes to high-skilled jobs,” said Lt. Gov. Jeanette Nuñez, who was on hand for the grand opening ceremony.
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› Report: 174 dolphins died from red tide bloom off Florida [AP]
Scores of dolphins have died along Florida's southwest coast due to the red tide bloom in the past year, federal researchers said. Figures released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration showed 174 dolphins were stranded in a mass die-off between last July and last week.
› Two-thirds of Metrorail technicians unqualified to work alone [Miami Today]
Two-thirds of Metrorail technicians are unqualified to work alone, according to a new report that says the expertise shortage “may compromise the safety of the system.” But transit union leaders say much of the report is “simply not true,” pointing instead to training and budget cuts that tax both the system and those who keep it running.
› Lawsuits claim Orlando restaurant owners defrauded green card hopefuls to ‘steal every penny’ [Orlando Sentinel]
Tre Bambine’s future in Orlando appeared promising when the Italian restaurant opened in February in a prime spot on Lake Eola in downtown Orlando. But after just three months, the restaurant suddenly closed. Tre Bambine’s owners, Terry Hong-Yin Chan and Jacquelyn Angiulli Chan of Orlando, are embroiled in federal and state lawsuits for allegedly defrauding immigrant hopefuls who invested in their restaurants and skipping out on rent.
› For one rare bird, flight from South Florida’s changing climate sparks a surprising revival [South Florida Sun-Sentinel]
When Craig Watson moved to South Carolina 30 years ago, the appearance of a roseate spoonbill would draw people from hundreds of miles away hoping to get a glimpse of the exotic bird. Today, spoonbills are a daily sight among the herons and egrets in the coastal marshes where Watson works as a state migratory bird biologist.