May 18, 2024

Tuesday's Daily Pulse

What you need to know about Florida today

| 9/19/2023

Florida sports gambling fight heads to U.S. Supreme Court

Arguing that the outcome of the case could represent a “blueprint for expanding gaming outside of Indian lands,” a Florida pari-mutuel owner plans to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to weigh in on whether a multibillion-dollar deal giving the Seminole Tribe control of sports betting throughout the state violates federal law. A Washington, D.C.-based appeals court last week refused to reconsider a ruling by a three-judge panel that found the 2021 agreement did not violate the federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, or IGRA, which regulates gambling on tribal lands. [Source: News Service of Florida]

DeSantis, cabinet back $141M in statewide land conservation deals

Gov. Ron DeSantis and the state Cabinet on Monday quickly approved $141 million in deals that will help preserve land from the Panhandle to Southwest Florida. During a meeting held by telephone, DeSantis and Cabinet members supported three land purchases under the Florida Forever program. They also approved buying three conservation easements, which help preserve land while allowing owners to continue using it for such things as agriculture and hunting. [Source: News Service of Florida]

Column: Registering voters in Florida has become more difficult and much more expensive

People and organizations across the country and of all political persuasions work to extend the fundamental right to vote to all lawful citizens. Many of these organizations are making special plans to push for potential voters to get registered on National Voter Registration Day, Sept. 19. Unfortunately, even as these organizations try to expand the franchise, there are a number of states making it harder for citizens to vote and adding difficulty to registering voters, including Florida. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]

Florida’s favorite grocery store seeks to be uncomplicated in a complicated world

Today, Publix employs some 250,000 people across 1,350 stores concentrated across the Southeast. It is the largest employee-owned company in the United States. Its workers — it prefers the term “associates” — get shares of stock in the company after working 1,000 hours in a year. The line among locals is that Publix is a place where truck drivers retire millionaires, though it’s not clear how many of those are mythical creatures. [Source: Vox]

Florida public universities fall in U.S. News rankings

The University of Florida lost its much-coveted standing as a Top 5 public university and slipped to No. 6, but rose in stature among all universities nationally, according to the 2024 Best College rankings from U.S. News & World Report released early today. Many of the state’s public universities followed a similar pattern in a year when Gov. Ron DeSantis and lawmakers moved to overhaul Florida’s higher education system. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]


› Port Canaveral-bound Utopia of the Seas gets 1st taste of water
Royal Caribbean’s next Oasis-class ship Utopia of the Seas was put into the water for the first time over the weekend as construction continues ahead of its debut in 2024 from Port Canaveral. While new class of ship Icon of the Seas debuting in Miami in January will take the title of world’s largest cruise ship, Utopia will hold the No. 2 spot, projected to be incrementally larger than sister ship Wonder of the Seas at 236,860 gross tons.

› Tampa gets $1M federal grant to plant trees to reduce extreme heat
Local officials have secured money to help remedy Tampa’s shrinking tree canopy. U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Tampa, announced Thursday the city had been awarded a $1 million federal grant through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Urban and Community Forestry initiative.

› Another Miamian is ascending to lead Florida House
Miami’s influence over statewide politics became stronger Monday as Rep. Daniel Perez was designated speaker of the Florida House for the 2024-26 legislative term, becoming the second presiding officer from Miami in the last decade. Perez, 36, a Republican, will assume control at a time when his party holds a super majority in both chambers and controls all statewide offices in Florida.

› Visit Sarasota County wins statewide marketing award
The annual Florida Governor’s Conference on Tourism was hosted recently in Orlando by Visit Florida. Notably, during the Chairman’s Dinner, the recipients of the Flagler Awards were announced, and Visit Sarasota County was one of the winners. These awards are presented to outstanding organizations and individuals to recognize innovation and resourcefulness in Florida tourism. Visit Florida is the official tourism marketing corporation for the state.

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