Florida lawmakers give DeSantis additional $360M for Hurricane Ian projects
A legislative budget panel Wednesday gave Gov. Ron DeSantis an additional $360 million to pump into Hurricane Ian projects, as response efforts continue two weeks after the storm made landfall in Southwest Florida. In an emergency meeting, the Joint Legislative Budget Commission approved adding the money to the state Emergency Preparedness and Response Fund, which was established this year with $500 million. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]
Florida Trend Exclusive
Gainesville city leaders move to revise multi-family housing regulations
Gainesville Mayor Lauren Poe makes his case to address his community’s housing crisis: The city population grew 30% faster than its housing supply in the past decade, pushing rents and home prices — in a trajectory replicated across Florida — beyond the means of the less affluent. If the city changed its regulations so that areas now zoned exclusively for single-family homes could instead also become the sites of duplexes, triplexes and quadplexes, builders would construct more housing that people could afford. [Source: Florida Trend]
Citrus growers head into ‘tough’ year
The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Wednesday released an initial forecast for the 2022-2023 growing season that showed overall citrus production down a projected 31.8 percent from the past season. That would result in the lowest production since the 1935-1936 season, based on Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services statistics. [Source: News Service of Florida]
Commentary: After Hurricane Ian, build back different
Florida’s home-insurance business was in trouble even before Hurricane Ian tore across the state last month. Big insurers were taking their business elsewhere, smaller ones were going broke, costs due to litigation and fraud had soared, and so had premiums. The private market was pulling back as the risk of weather-related damage mounted, leaving homeowners to buy protection from the state-backed Citizens Property Insurance Corp. and the federal National Flood Insurance Program — or else to go uninsured. [Source: Bloomberg]
More than 40 Black Florida business leaders release ad calling for more ‘equitable economic development’
“The Black community makes up nearly 20% of Miami-Dade county’s population, yet we participate in less than 2% of its governmental economic engine,” an ad taken out by Black business leaders in Miami Dade said, citing a 2015 Miami-Dade disparity study. “Each day that we are left out of the economic engine, our community gets poorer while others prosper.” [Source: Black Enterprise]
ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:
› A Tampa cancer research firm just raised $22M. What comes next?
Morphogenesis CEO Jim Bianco talks IPOs, Tampa Bay’s biotech scene and why their “cancer vaccine” isn’t a vaccine at all.
› Feds investigating Florida’s use of COVID funds for migrant flights
The federal government is investigating whether money intended for recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic was misused by the state of Florida to fund the transport of a group of South American migrants to Martha’s Vineyard last month.
› University of Florida students protest against Ben Sasse’s anti-LGBTQ past
The Republican senator, who is in line to be the university’s next president, has called the legalization of same-sex marriage a “disappointment.” Hundreds of University of Florida students held protests this week criticizing the anticipated appointment of Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., to lead the school.
› Feds deny increased gopher tortoise protections in Florida
Concluding that the animals are “not in danger of extinction,” federal wildlife officials Tuesday rejected listing gopher tortoises in Florida as endangered or threatened species.
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