The Point, Jan. 29, 2021: Florida Governor’s Budget Proposal Looks More Upbeat Than You Might Have Thought It Would


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Today’s top Florida stories

• News Service of Florida: DeSantis Rolls Out $96.6 Billion Budget Plan. “Gov. Ron DeSantis on Thursday proposed a record $96.6 billion state budget for the upcoming fiscal year, offering a more upbeat picture of Florida’s finances than lawmakers who will have to stitch together a spending plan as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to hamper the economy.”

• WMFE: DeSantis Calls For $1 Billion As Florida Braces For Future Storms, Sea Level Rise. “Gov. Ron DeSantis says he is establishing a Resilient Florida program that will make $1 billion in grants available for local governments over four years.”

• Florida Politics: Gov. DeSantis approval rating high as Floridians show overwhelming support for COVID-19 liability protections. “For all the hemming and hawing over the state’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout and Gov. Ron DeSantis’ perceived failures to get shots in arms, Floridians largely support his job performance. That’s according to a Florida Chamber of Commerce poll out Thursday, which finds 54% of likely Florida voters polled approve of DeSantis’ work.”

• Associated Press: Florida Official On Vaccines: Biden ‘Inherited A Mess.’ “Appearing before a legislative select committee on the response to the pandemic, the director (of emergency management), Jared Moskowitz, echoed Gov. Ron DeSantis’s concern over inadequate deliveries of life-saving vaccines to meet the intense demand.”

• WUSF: Tampa Issues Outdoor Mask Mandate For Super Bowl, Castor Says. “Tampa Mayor Jane Castor signed an executive order Wednesday that extends an existing mandate to include outdoor events and gatherings at ‘entertainment districts’ including Ybor City.”

• Sun Sentinel ($): Broward County’s Sen. Gary Farmer tests positive for COVID-19. “He said he has not experienced symptoms and hopes to make a speedy recovery.”

• Tallahassee Democrat ($): Florida University System to examine cultures of race, equality, inclusion after Capitol riot. “(Board of Governors Chairman Syd) Kitson didn’t offer specifics he wants to see addressed or a timeframe for a report, but charged the committee with developing a series of recommendations and an action plan on how the State University System can better encourage a diversity of thought and dialogue on its campuses.”

• WJCT: Report: Fla. Remains 1 Of Nation’s Lowest-Performing States For Utility Energy Efficiency. “Additionally, the third annual ‘Energy Efficiency in the Southeast’ report from the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE) released this week, finds that just three utilities account for nearly 75% of all efficiency savings in the Southeast U.S. — Duke Energy Carolinas, Duke Energy Progress and Georgia Power — and some of the biggest utilities are contributing ‘almost nothing.'”

• Spectrum News: Sen. Jeff Brandes Hopes This is the Last Super Bowl That Floridians Can’t Legally Bet On. “Brandes has filed a legislative proposal that would authorize sports betting that would be regulated by the Florida Lottery. He’s also filed related bills which sets the sport betting revenue tax at 15 percent and license fees at $100,000, respectively.”

• WUFT News: ‘Survival of the Slowest’ Exhibit Debuts At The Florida Museum of Natural History. “The sloth at the Florida Museum of Natural History’s new exhibit is far outpaced by the urgent enthusiasm attendees have shown during its opening week.”

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From NPR News

• Health: South Carolina Reports 1st Known U.S. Cases Of Variant From South Africa

• Politics: Biden Revokes Trump Abortion Policy, Takes Steps To Shore Up Affordable Care Act

• Business: GameStop Stock Mania: Why Everyone Is Talking About It And Many Are Worried

• Business: General Motors Aims To Be Carbon Neutral By 2040

• Science: Friend or Foe? Naked Mole Rats Can Tell By A Unique Squeak

• Science: Scientists Identify New Whale Species In Gulf Of Mexico

• National: 6 Killed After Liquid Nitrogen Leak At Georgia Poultry Plant

• National: After Riot, Acting Capitol Police Chief Calls For Permanent Fencing Around Complex

About today’s curator

I’m Ethan Magoc, a news editor at WUFT. Originally from Pennsylvania, I’ve found a home telling Florida stories. I’m part of a team searching each morning for local and state stories that are important to you; please send feedback about today’s edition or ideas for stories we may have missed to

About WUFT News

Contact WUFT News by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing news

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