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Wednesday's Afternoon Update

Florida lawmakers will go into overtime to finish session

Lawmakers weren’t able to complete negotiations on all the budget items that will make up the $100 billion-plus state budget, which means the regular session will be forced to go into overtime. Also, lawmakers face the possibility of having to meet again at some point to work on a congressional redistricting plan. The House and Senate have passed a plan, but Gov. Ron DeSantis has threatened to veto it. A map needs to be finalized before a June qualifying period for the November elections. More from the News Service of Florida.

SpaceX launches Starlink mission from Cape Canaveral

SpaceX made it 10 launches in 10 weeks as it continued its record pace for 2022. The company was able to recover the first-stage booster on this launch for a fourth time by landing it on its droneship A Shortfall of Gravitas in the Atlantic. It marks the 110th booster recovery for the company that seeks to lower costs by reusing rocket parts on its launches. Both fairing halves were new for this launch, but the company will attempt to recover them at sea as well. More from the Orlando Sentinel.

Massive wildfire in Northwest Florida forces additional evacuations

Three sweeping wildfires that started last week in the Florida Panhandle have burned more than 29,000 acres and are threatening surrounding communities amid dry and windy weather, the authorities said Tuesday. The blazes, which are collectively called the Chipola Complex, are being fed by dead trees and other vegetation left by Hurricane Michael in 2018, fire officials said. More from WFSU and the New York Times.

Florida gas prices reach record highs Wednesday for second day in a row

The U.S. and Florida broke records Wednesday for the second day in a row for the price of an average gallon of gas. In Florida, the average for a gallon of gas went up by 6 cents overnight to become the highest price for unleaded gas in Florida's history, according to AAA. On Tuesday, a gallon of gas in Florida was about $4.15, AAA's website said. One day later, that same gallon costs Floridians $4.21. More from WPBF.

Lawmakers vote to extend Visit Florida until 2028

Florida’s taxpayer-supported tourism marketing agency can plan campaigns for the next six years under a bill heading to Gov. Ron DeSantis. The Senate on Tuesday voted 36-3 to go along with a House proposal to extend Visit Florida’s authorization to operate until Oct. 1, 2028. Under current law, Visit Florida would be repealed Oct. 1, 2023, without an extension, and the Senate had previously sought to move the date to Oct. 1, 2031. Tourism industry officials from various parts of the state issued statements Tuesday praising the extension. More from the News Service of Florida.

Business Profile
Minority-led Stax is the latest fintech firm to achieve unicorn status

 Fintech is one of the hottest areas of technology, and now the sector has another unicorn on its hands. Payments processing platform Stax has announced a $1 billion valuation after its latest round of investment. The company’s payment platform allows clients to accept all payment types, simplifying the payments ecosystem while adding convenience for customers. Orlando-based Stax also has the distinction of being one of the rare unicorns that happen to be minority-led.

» More from Fast Company.


For 100 years now, you simply had to read Tampa’s La Gaceta newspaper

floridaIn government offices, at downtown power lunches and over cigars and steaming cups of cafe con leche, Tampa has long heard a familiar refrain: “Did you see what it said in La Gaceta?” From its offices on the hardscrabble end of Seventh Avenue just east of Ybor City, the 50-cent weekly billed as the nation’s only trilingual newspaper is marking its 100th year.

» Read more from the Tampa Bay Times.