Many spending issues unresolved after weekend talks among Florida lawmakers
Florida lawmakers trying to piece together a roughly $100 billion state budget for the coming year spent the weekend trading offers on everything from teacher pay raises to more money to help mothers with newborn children. Lawmakers have a little more than a week to reconcile the budget if they hope to wrap up their 60-day legislative session on time April 30. Because of a legally required 72-hour “cooling-off” period, a final state budget --- which would cover spending for the fiscal year that starts July 1 --- must be on the desks of lawmakers by April 27. More from the News Service of Florida.
Florida Trend Exclusive
Florida Icon: Richard Bowers
Richard Bowers tells us: "When I was a coach, I didn’t care nothing about your color. Can you play? Are you better than the other boy? Prove it to me. That’s still my attitude. All white people ain’t bad. All black people ain’t bad. Let me check your character — and I’ll go off of that." More from Florida Trend.
Are Florida's theme parks open? What you can expect at Disney, Universal and more this summer
The last year might have been a rollercoaster of emotions for many, but what about the actual rollercoasters? On June 10, Universal Studios will launch its Jurassic World Velocicoaster, wherein riders are catapulted 155 feet in the air at up to 70 miles an hour. Other planned openings through the summer and fall include SeaWorld Orlando’s Ice Breaker and (at last!) Busch Garden’s Iron Gwazi. More from the Palm Beach Post.
Gov. DeSantis signs ‘anti-riot’ bill into Florida law
Gov. Ron DeSantis signed HB1, more commonly referred to as his “anti-riot” bill, into Florida law Monday morning. The bill was first filed in the Florida House of Representatives and Senate on Jan. 6, 2021, the same day rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol. The law puts new penalties in place for people planning to participate in future protests in Florida. More from WJAX.
Renaissance Theatre Company hopes to lift Orlando’s arts scene
“Oscar Wilde and Jesus Christ Walk Into a Gay Bar” … No, that's not a joke. That’s the title of an upcoming Orlando Fringe Festival show — and the first production from Donald Rupe’s new Renaissance Theatre Company. Rupe, a successful playwright, was until last fall the director of Central Florida Community Arts’ theater program. When he departed CFCArts Theatre, Rupe said he planned to focus more on creating new work. More from the Orlando Sentinel.
Tweeds brings high style to Sarasota – from a box truck
Donald Carlson Jr. has been a hustler all his life. As a kid, he would buy bottles of Powerade at Walmart for 60 cents each and then sell them to construction crews working in his Venice neighborhood for $2 a piece. In September 2019 Carlson launched Tweeds, a high-end custom suit company, run from the back of a 16-foot box truck.
» More from the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.
Out of the Box
Tip your robot: South Florida restaurant hires robo-servers to deal with staff shortages
It’s lunchtime and Peanut, the restaurant robot host, greets Vicki and Troy Charlton with a digital eye wink and a cheerful squeak: “Here you are! Please follow me to your table!” The four-foot-tall robot on wheels whirs around and rolls away to escort the Charltons to their dining table at Mr. Q Crab House, a Cajun seafood restaurant on State Road 7 in Hollywood. A calming, if bizarre, soundtrack plays on Peanut’s built-in speakers.
» Read more from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.