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Friday's Daily Pulse

Gov. DeSantis signs off on new workforce program

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a package of bills Thursday partly focused on workforce development, as well as one measure that would provide public money to allow high school students enrolled in private schools to take classes at public colleges and universities. The bill signed into law by the governor sets aside $15.5 million for the state’s dual enrollment scholarship program. During the legislative session, the proposal met opposition from most Democrats who objected to using public money to benefit those attending private schools. More from the AP] and WFLA.

Business BeatBusiness Beat - Week of June 25th

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South Florida has plans to attract more movie and TV projects

Left on the cutting room floor after the state stopped giving companies money to film here, South Florida wants producers to know it’s ready for its close-up — and is willing to pay for the spotlight. Broward, Palm Beach and Miami-Dade counties are gearing up for an epic battle with fierce competition: More than 30 states have incentives as well as similar locales such as the Bahamas. Broward plans to start a rebate program, similar to the one already in place in Miami-Dade. Palm Beach County subsidizes productions that boost tourism but doesn’t offer a rebate. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]

More than 100,000 race to Citizens Insurance as hurricane season begins

The state-owned “insurer of last resort” added more than 100,000 new policies between February and May — a result, officials say, of an ongoing customer purge by private-market companies looking to shed policies that are most likely to generate costly claims. Citizens Property Insurance Corp., created to ensure Floridians can find insurance when no one else wants them, is becoming the only choice for customers whose prior companies declined to renew their policies or hit them with premium increases steep enough that they became eligible to switch. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentiinel]

Here are the Florida additions to the SEC’s list of companies misleading investors

Four Florida companies are among the 64 most recent additions to the Securities and Exchange Commission’s list of “unregistered entities that use misleading information to solicit primarily non-U.S. investors.” That’s the agency’s description of its PAUSE — Public Alert: Unregistered Soliciting Entities — list. “The latest additions are firms that SEC staff found were providing inaccurate information about their affiliation, location or registration (with the SEC),” the SEC said. [Source: Miami Herald]


› Hertz gets a post-pandemic, post-bankruptcy fresh start
Just shy of 13-months after filing for Chapter 11, Lee County-based The Hertz Corp. is expected to exit bankruptcy June 30 with a new line of financing and a restructured debt plan in place. The company, crushed by the pandemic and forced into court, expects to regain its place as one of the top rental car companies in the world and to come out stronger financially than it was before.

› SoftBank’s next Miami bet: A firm hoping to overthrow Bloomberg and Yahoo Finance
So you’ve downloaded the Robinhood app to invest in stocks. But where are you getting your financial information? If you’re still using Google or Yahoo Finance, there is another option — one now being led by a team in Miami. Atom Finance, a consumer software platform designed to provide up-to-date stock intelligence and earnings information similar to a Bloomberg terminal, announced Tuesday it had raised a $28 million Series B funding round led by the SoftBank Latin America Fund, with participation from existing investors General Catalyst and Base Partners.

› Carnival Cruise Line announces two new ships by 2023
Carnival Cruise Line will be bring two more ships into the fleet by 2023, one a brand new ship, and another with a makeover. The cruise line’s parent company Carnival Corp., which has nine cruise lines under its umbrella, announced that it was shifting one of its planned Excel-class ships from German-based line AIDA Cruises over to Carnival. This is the same design as Carnival’s new ship Mardi Gras that will be sailing from Port Canaveral on its first voyage in July.

› Judge blocks aid to minority farmers
Siding with a white farmer from North Florida, a U.S. district judge has blocked a federal plan to provide loan relief to Black and other minority farmers who historically faced discrimination. U.S. District Judge Marcia Morales Howard, who is based in Jacksonville, issued a preliminary injunction Wednesday against the plan, which was part of the American Rescue Plan Act, a stimulus law signed in March by President Joe Biden.

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› Pasco helps locals deal on international stage
When people think about economic development offices, they usually imagine overseas trade trips, tax credits and the occasional press release touting a new company complete with foggy economic outlooks. But there’s a lot more to the work county and state agencies do to create business opportunities than selling locations and offering incentives to lure out-of-town businesses.

› Reviews on new bayside billboard mixed. ‘Visual pollution’ or evolving city skyline?
A new electronic billboard erected on the shore of Biscayne Bay just off the MacArthur Causeway has some residents accusing the city of Miami of green-flagging advertising contracts that obstruct waterfront views and drive down quality of life along the coast. The large billboard, controlled by OUTFRONT Media, sits across the street from the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts and greets anyone driving west into Miami from South Beach.

› Go underground at Florida Caverns State Park, millions of years in the making
Many of the Sunshine State’s caverns are underwater, making them only accessible to those with a cave diving certification. However, Florida Caverns State Park in the state’s Panhandle offers explorers the rare chance to walk through an air-filled underground system filled with unique limestone formations.

› JEA sets August hearing for fee increase that will affect builders
The JEA board of directors scheduled a public rate hearing for Aug. 24 where it is expected to vote on the first water, sewer and irrigation capacity fee increases in 15 years, affecting builders and customers connecting to the city-owned utility’s system. The board also will vote on adjustments to electric rates, but JEA CEO Jay Stowe said at the June 22 board meeting that the changes will have a “net neutral” impact and not raise the average residential customer’s bill in fiscal year 2022.