Florida Trend | Florida's Business Authority

Thursday's Daily Pulse

Housing costs, economy top list of concerns for Florida voters

Housing costs and the economy top the list of concerns across Florida, according to a newly released poll of registered voters conducted by the University of North Florida’s Public Opinion Research Lab. 26% of respondents cited housing costs as the most important problem facing Florida today, followed closely by the economy, jobs, and inflation at 25%. “In the last year, housing costs, and now property insurance, have emerged as pressing issues to Floridians,” said PORL faculty director and professor of political science Dr. Michael Binder. “Insurance companies are most responsible in the minds of these Florida voters, but there seems to be plenty of blame to go around.” [Source: Source]

California vs. Florida: Why are people moving from one state to the other?

More Californians are relocating to Florida than the other way around — but the number moving in either direction is minuscule compared with each state’s population. Last year, according to newly released census data, roughly 29,000 Floridians moved to California, the nation’s most populous state, with 39 million residents. Meanwhile, nearly 51,000 people moved from California to Florida, a fast-growing state of 22 million. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

More states are banning plastic bags. Florida is not among them

More than a hundred local governments throughout the country have enacted laws as well – but in Florida, it’s illegal for any local jurisdiction to ban plastic or polystyrene. Environmental advocates say that’s a problem, and they contend the issue is only getting worse. [Source: Florida Phoenix]

More Citizens Property Insurance customers shift to private insurers

More policies are shifting from Citizens Property Insurance to private companies in Florida. In an effort to solve the property insurance crisis, Citizens Property Insurance began a depopulation program and it's working, according to the company's chief operating officer Kelly Booten. For the second month in a row, private insurers have taken more than 90,000 policies from Citizens leaving the state's insurer of last resort with 16% of the market with a further decline next year. [Source: WIOD]

Florida bill would allow minors on roofing jobs

A bill introduced in the Florida legislature would provide exemptions allowing minors as young as 16 to work on roofing jobs, while also revising requirements to expand career fairs to help employers recruit students to the trades. Florida State Senate Bill 460, introduced Nov. 14 by State Sen. Corey Simon, a Republican, would allow minors with OSHA 10 certifications to perform commercial and residential roofing work, as long as a worker who is 21 or older with two years of experience and the same certification supervises. [Source: Construction Dive]

ImagineCare joins forces with Florida organizations to improve birth outcomes, mental health of children and home-and community-based services

As part of its commitment to serve Medicaid managed care recipients in Florida, ImagineCare has formed contractual partnerships with 20 nonprofit organizations serving vulnerable residents across the state. These organizations, including Who We Play For and Episcopal Children’s Services, can expand and enhance their programs and services with the long-term support and resources provided by ImagineCare, a joint venture between Spark Pediatrics and CareSource. [Sponsored Report]


› Legislators consider consolidating Anna Maria Island and Bradenton
All options are on the table in a study pushed by Manatee County legislators that will help state officials decide if the three cities on Anna Maria Island should be combined into one new city, consolidated into the city of Bradenton, or de-annexed altogether. Legislators started the effort last year when the state approved a bill that allows Manatee County to build a parking garage in the city of Holmes Beach without a permit from the city.

› Down trees, pay fees: Pensacola looks to crack down on unpermitted tree removals
Pensacola Mayor D.C. Reeves is proposing an ordinance to crack down on unpermitted tree removals. Reeves said Tuesday the city's current ordinance only allows violations of the tree ordinances to be enforced against property owners, and in some situations, homeowners are relying on tree removal companies to follow city ordinances.

› Fort Myers chamber names new president, CEO
Robert Goltz, who has 25 years of experience in chamber of commerces and economic development organizations, has been named president and CEO Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce. Goltz replaces Brian Hamman, a Lee County commissioner, who had been CEO of the chamber for a little over a year before he resigned in August.

› Miami International Airport on a record flight path
Miami International Airport is on pace to handle 52 million passengers this year as it runs 2.56% ahead of last year’s record-shattering 50.65 million, latest statistics from the Miami-Dade Aviation Department show. The total could be even higher if the heavy winter travel season surges past last year’s levels.

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› UF research developing off-season blueberries
A newly published study by the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) is hoping to bring the Sunshine State’s blueberry supply to the fall season. This comes as good news for consumers and growers, who would be able to expand their market window by several months.

› If you're buying your first home in this Florida county, you can receive up to $100,000
If you're looking to buy your first home, Palm Beach County wants to help by offering an incentive of up to $100,000. The Palm Beach County Department of Housing and Economic Development announced a new program to help eligible applicants buy their first home as part of the State Housing Initiatives Partnership Purchase Assistance Program.

› Startling reversal brings 50% Metrobus gains
Metrobus, which had been bleeding passengers for more than a decade, saw ridership soar a full 50% in the year ended Sept. 30 as total county mass transit use gained 39%, new figures from Miami-Dade’s Department of Transportation and Public Works show. At least four factors played roles in the startling reversal of Metrobus from passenger flight to a passenger magnet.

› Plaintiffs try to keep Florida felon-voting lawsuit alive
Arguing that state and local officials have created a “broken and arbitrary system,” plaintiffs are trying to fend off an attempt to end a lawsuit that challenges the way a 2018 constitutional amendment aimed at restoring felons’ voting rights has been carried out. Attorneys for the Orlando-based Florida Rights Restoration Coalition and four individual plaintiffs last week filed a document opposing a request by Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration, county clerks of court and elections supervisors to dismiss the lawsuit.