Friday's Daily Pulse
What you need to know about Florida today
Floridian sentiment increases as perceptions of economic conditions improve
Consumer sentiment among Floridians increased in November to 68.3, up 1.9 points from a revised figure of 66.4 in October. On the contrary, national sentiment decreased over two points. All five components that make up the index increased. Conducted October 1 through November 20, the UF study reflects the responses of 219 individuals who were reached on cellphones and 252 individuals reached through an online panel, a total of 471 individuals, representing a demographic cross section of Florida. [Source: UF News]
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Teachers say they can't live and work in Florida anymore
Florida teachers are leaving the state and their profession. They blame unrealistic workloads, restrictive laws and stagnant pay. Andrew Spar, president of the Florida Education Association, pointed to a growing number of teacher vacancies, nearing 7,000, or 900 more at the start of this school year compared to last. However, the Florida Department of Education estimated vacancies to be closer to 5,000, as they have a different method for counting open positions. [Source: WUSF]
Florida taking aim at lease tax
One of the biggest parts of a $1.3 billion tax package passed this spring will take hold Friday: a cut in Florida’s commercial-lease tax from 5.5 percent to 4.5 percent. Projected to save businesses $219.3 million this fiscal year, the tax is slated to be further lowered to 2 percent next year as part of a 2021 deal. For groups such as the National Federation of Independent Business-Florida, that isn’t low enough. [Source: News Service of Florida]
Florida Supreme Court rules that cops can’t hide identity behind Marsy’s Law
Florida police officers will not be able to shield their identity behind Marsy’s Law, the 2018 constitutional amendment meant to protect victims of crimes after the Florida Supreme Court on Thursday ruled against the Florida Police Benevolent Association. The ruling stemmed from two incidents in Tallahassee in 2020 in which officers both shot and killed a person while on-duty. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]
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ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› St. Petersburg First Friday block party is canceled indefinitely
For more than 20 years, on the first Friday of every month, traffic would be stopped on two blocks of Central Avenue for a block party featuring live music and vendors selling beer and food. But unless some deep-pocketed sponsors come to the rescue, the popular gathering is likely going away, organizers said.
› With holiday shopping well underway, Gainesville businesses prepare for final push of year
While many consider Black Friday to be the official start of the holiday shopping season, surveys show that more than 40% of people are finished by the end of November. Gainesville business owners say they've seen a similar trend, having catered to some early shoppers but still expecting many to wait until the final weekend before Christmas.
› Surpassing all metrics: SpaceX launch window set for record 67th launch of 2023 at Cape
Look for another SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket to take flight late Friday night or early Saturday morning from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station. National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency and Federal Aviation Administration navigational warnings show a SpaceX Starlink rocket launch window will open at 11 p.m. EST Friday.
› Airlines deliver new flights, new routes and more passengers to South Florida — but not everybody is staying
Since the passage of the COVID-19 pandemic, South Florida has enjoyed a status as one of the first U.S. vacation destinations to fully welcome visitors fleeing the dreariness of lockdowns, the rawness of inclement weather, and travel barriers posed by stifling international travel restrictions. For the second straight year, airlines have loaded up on Florida routes to bring northerners to the state’s sun-drenched beaches and dining and entertainment attractions. Fare-cutting remains widespread to extend traveler appetites for flying.
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