Florida Trend | Florida's Business Authority

Monday's Daily Pulse

New Florida laws go into effect

In total, more than 30 new laws took effect Sunday. Many of them center on higher penalties for criminal offenses. HB 1297, might be the most controversial for further easing access to capital punishment. The Oct. 1 changes open up the death penalty for those convicted of sexual battery of children. There are also new laws to crack down on streakers and put new rules in place for children driving golf carts. More from WPTV, WRBL, and NBC Miami.

Report: Florida is a national leader in wooing wealthy millennials

A new study shows Florida is a national leader in attracting wealthy millennials to relocate to state. The millennial generation — those currently aged 27-42 — has faced many challenges, including the 2008-09 recession, higher levels of student loan debt and unmoving wage growth. But the study says things are looking up for the generation. It currently makes up the largest segment of the labor force as well as make up the majority of homebuyers. [Source: Business Observer]

Disney, DeSantis legal fights ratchet up as company demands documents from Florida governor

The legal fights between Disney and Gov. Ron DeSantis ratcheted up last week. The Florida governor asked that the company's First Amendment lawsuit against him be tossed from federal court, and Disney demanded emails, texts and other communications from the governor's office in a separate state court lawsuit originally brought by DeSantis appointees of Walt Disney World's governing district. [Source: AP]

U.S. Supreme Court to weigh Florida tech law

The U.S. Supreme Court said Friday it will take up a First Amendment fight about a 2021 Florida law that placed restrictions on major social-media companies. The Supreme Court said it will hear cases involving the Florida law and a similar measure in Texas. Both sides in the Florida case, along with the U.S. solicitor general, had urged justices to take up the issues. [Source: News Service of Florida]

Florida electricity prices hold firm, but still higher than neighboring states

As the Sunshine State moves into autumn months, electricity rates remain where they are, at least for now. According to data from the Florida Public Service Commission, the average monthly bill for residential customers has not changed much since summer, with rates continuing to linger between $135 per month and $175 per month at the top end for residential customers who are connected to the state’s investor-owned electric companies. [Source: The Center Square]


› Pensacola business owners, employees weigh in on impact as Florida minimum wage rises to $12
Minimum wage for workers in Florida increased to $12 an hour Saturday, and rates will keep inching higher for the next three years. The voter-approved amendment will keep bumping up minimum wage until it hits a $15 cap in 2026.

› Rare clawed creature lives in Miami’s underground water supply. Can it survive sea rise?
A little-known lobsterlike creature lurks deep under the homes and streets of coastal Miami-Dade County, swimming and feeding in the porous limestone rock that holds the drinking water supply for millions of residents. It’s called the Miami cave crayfish, a rare and rarely seen crustacean whose future — like the underground freshwater where it lives — faces increasing threats from climate change as rising seas and tides push salty water deeper into the holes and cavities of the Biscayne Aquifer’s Swiss-cheeselike lime rock.

› St. Petersburg approves 2024 budget amid pleas against stadium subsidy
As property values continue to rise, so will property tax bills. But the St. Petersburg City Council last week approved a reduced tax rate for the third consecutive year. That will still net the city an extra $20 million for the city’s budget for 2024, reflecting a citywide 12.36% increase in property values. The council voted 7-1 to approve an $835 million operating budget. The city plans to spend 8.3% more on expenses this year.

› Ringling’s ‘Greatest Show on Earth’ is back after 6 years — with big change for circus
Ringling owner Feld Entertainment shut down the show in 2017, citing declining ticket sales, high operating costs, the public’s changing tastes in entertainment and costly fights with animal rights groups. Feld Entertainment, which is based near Bradenton on Florida’s Gulf Coast, runs several other touring shows, including Disney on Ice, Marvel Universe Live, Jurassic World Live Tour, Monster Energy AMA Supercross and Monster Jam.

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› Gainesville seeks community input for developing Climate Action Plan
Reeling from a summer of record-high heat, Gainesville has not been spared by climate change — an environmental issue that impacts every corner of the city’s population, wildlife and greenery. Gainesville is now in the developing phase of its Climate Action Plan — with a draft expected to be finalized by October 2024.

› Childcare centers in Florida saved by state legislature
Childcare centers across the country are no longer receiving government checks from the American Rescue Plan Act. It’s money that has been helping keep doors open since the pandemic. Last year, state legislature and the Division of Early Learning made the decision to retain some of our American Rescue Plan Act dollars.

› In Tampa, Florida Chamber president says businesses should do more to address early learning gaps
Florida Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Mark Wilson urged the business community to take substantive action to help fix the state's lackluster child care system during a speech in Tampa last week. Wilson spoke at an event organized by the Early Learning Coalition of Hillsborough County.

› Orlando’s Mills 50 neighborhood is booming with new businesses
Mills 50, once known as Orlando’s “Little Vietnam” and “Little Saigon,” is booming. A diverse mix of more than a dozen businesses has opened in the neighborhood in the past year, according to Joanne Grant, executive director of the Mills 50 Main Street program.