Jim Turner - News Service of Florida

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Jim Turner is a reporter for The News Service of Florida.

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press

Floridians continue to disconnect telephone landlines and go wireless, with the COVID-19 pandemic giving an extra push to the shift.

News Service of Florida

Gov. Ron DeSantishas issued an executive order prohibiting school districts from imposing mask-wearing requirements for students less than two weeks before the start of the new school year. 

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State economists expressed optimism Tuesday that already-rebounding tourism numbers will see a quicker-than-anticipated boost from international travelers as Canada eases COVID-19 border restrictions.

Citizens Property Insurance Corp. logo
Citizens Property Insurance Corp.

Customers of Citizens Property Insurance Corp. are getting a bigger rate hike than was initially proposed, due to a change in a state law that was partially blocked by a federal judge this week.

HEATHER SCHATZ / WJCT NEWS

Florida’s monthly revenues continue to top expectations, aided recently by an increase in tourism-industry tax collections, a new report from state economists shows.

Gov. Ron DeSantis
News Service of Florida

Gov. Ron DeSantis’ net worth grew nearly 20% in his second year as the state’s top executive.

News Service of Florida file photo

Gov. Ron DeSantis said Wednesday he will sign a property-insurance package that could lead to larger rate increases for customers of the state-backed Citizens Property Insurance Corp. while seeking to curb roof-damage claims and lawsuits.

Gov. Ron DeSantis
News Service of Florida

While pointing to an economic resurgence amid the coronavirus pandemic, Gov. Ron DeSantis on Wednesday used his line-item veto power to slash $1.5 billion as he signed a record $100 billion budget for the upcoming fiscal year.

Tony Dejak / Associated Press file photo

Florida Republican leaders touted the state’s economy Wednesday and said they expect businesses to boost hiring as additional federal unemployment benefits end in the coming weeks.

BILL BORTZFIELD / WJCT NEWS

Florida’s tourism-marketing agency is planning international trips as officials work to offset the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on the travel industry.

Hurricane Irma damage
GERALD HERBERT

As the six-month hurricane season officially begins June 1, the Florida Division of Emergency Management will have surpassed 450 days responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

dollar bills in a pile
Mark Lennihan / Associated Press

Floridians preparing for the looming hurricane season can avoid paying sales taxes on many types of disaster gear starting late next week, after Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a $196.3 million tax package on Friday.

Ryan Ketterman / Visit Jacksonville

Florida’s tourism industry saw improvement during the first three months of 2021, but the number of visitors was still down 14% from a year earlier as the state continued to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ramon Espinosa / Associated Press file photo

Appearing at a Volusia County eatery, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed into law Thursday a bill that makes permanent a popular COVID-19 emergency order allowing restaurants to sell alcoholic drinks with take-home meals.

Florida Public Service Commission

Gabriella Passidomo, a daughter of an influential state senator, was appointed Monday by Gov. Ron DeSantis to a seat on the Florida Public Service Commission.

News Service of Florida

A proposal that would let people with concealed-weapons licenses bring their guns to churches or other religious institutions that share properties with schools is heading to Gov. Ron DeSantis.

Sen. Jason Brodeur, R-Sanford
News Service of Florida

Despite opposition from Gov. Ron DeSantis, Florida senators plowed ahead Thursday with a proposal to increase state unemployment benefits, which are among the lowest in the nation. 

Rep. Anna Eskamani, D-Orlando
News Service of Florida

House Republicans on Tuesday rejected Democratic efforts to increase unemployment assistance, days after Gov. Ron DeSantis opposed boosting benefits that are among the lowest in the nation.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis
Gov. Ron DeSantis Transition Team

Gov. Ron DeSantis late Monday signed into law a plan to require out-of-state online retailers to collect sales taxes on purchases made by Floridians, with the estimated $1 billion a year in revenue going to curb a pair of taxes on Florida businesses.

Rep. Tom Leek, R-Ormond Beach
News Service of Florida

A House committee Monday approved a proposal that would limit local emergency orders and make permanent Gov. Ron DeSantis’ executive order barring COVID-19 “passports” that would show people have been vaccinated.

Masked woman outside of an unemployment office with a "now hiring" sign.
Lynne Sladky / Associated Press

An effort to increase Florida’s much-criticized unemployment benefits, boosting the amounts and lengths of payments, continued to advance Thursday in the state Senate.

Rep. Cord Byrd (R-Neptune Beach)
News Service of Florida

A bipartisan proposal to add hiring standards and bolster use-of-force training for police and correctional officers began moving forward Thursday in the House.

Flooding in Flagler County.
Flagler County Emergency Services


With less than three weeks left in the legislative session, a key Senate panel Wednesday supported providing a tax break to property owners who elevate homes to address potential flooding, part of a House plan to combat rising sea levels.

A man wades through flood water as he check out damage from Hurricane Matthew Friday, Oct. 7, 2016, in St. Augustine , Fla.
John Bazemore / Associated Press


Tens of millions of dollars a year would go to fight the effects of rising sea levels under bills passed by the Florida House and Senate this week.

News Service of Florida

Florida’s unemployment payments, among the lowest in the nation, would increase by up to $100 a week under a measure approved by a Senate committee.

The Carnival Ecstasy is pictured docked at the JAXPORT Cruise Terminal in March 2020.
Bill Bortzfield / WJCT News

Florida is considering legal avenues to challenge federal guidelines that keep passenger cruise ships from sailing because of the COVID-19 pandemic, as efforts continue to convince the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to lift restrictions. Jacksonville is among the Florida cities where cruises have been halted since the pandemic.

Residents walk a flooded street to reach their homes, Monday, Nov. 9, 2020 in Fort Lauderdale, where Tropical Storm Eta caused severe flooding in areas already saturated from previous downpours.
Marta Lavandier / Associated Press

Gov. Ron DeSantis would get more than he requested for Everglades restoration and water projects in the coming year under an initial Senate budget proposal that also would set up a grant program to address sea-level rise.

A view of Downtown Jacksonville from Friendship Fountain.
BILL BORTZFIELD / WJCT NEWS

Despite the leisure and hospitality industry still struggling during the coronavirus pandemic, Florida’s unemployment rate continues to improve as vaccinations increase and people return to the workforce.

Photo of twenty dollar bills
Elise Amendola / Associated Press file photo

Florida tax revenues slowed somewhat in January from the final months of 2020 but continued a trend of beating a forecast issued as the state phased out COVID-19 lockdown efforts in the summer.

State Sen. Joe Gruters, R-Sarasota
News Service of Florida

A proposal is ready to go before the Senate that could cut deeply into the state’s revenue shortfall by requiring many out-of-state online retailers to collect sales taxes on purchases made by Floridians.

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