Gov. Ron DeSantis suspends fees, penalties for SunPass users until June: Florida officials have imposed a $4.6 million fine on the company that oversaw the botched SunPass conversion, and are also making internal changes to the state toll collection system's management. FDOT announced the penalty for Conduent State & Local Solution last week. Gov. Ron DeSantis has ordered the suspension of fees and penalties for SunPass and toll-by-plate customers until June 1. The SunPass system conversion was supposed to be completed last June. Instead, the system was overwhelmed by volume as it went live, and parts of the system were down for a month.
More than 5.2 million people will call Central Florida home in 2030, report estimates: Last week, leaders noted the regional changes predicted in the Orlando Economic Partnership's 2030 report. The report projects that Central Florida will add roughly 1,500 people per week, buoying the population to over 5.2 million residents, up from the current 4.3 million people. It also estimates that industry employment will grow by 19 percent – 10 percentage points faster than the U.S. average – and will create about 500,000 new jobs, with the fastest growing industry likely to be in home and healthcare services. By 2030, more than 135,000 additional students will be enrolled in schools, creating a demand for more than 29,000 new teachers. And roughly 600,000 more vehicles will be traveling Interstate 4 within about a decade.
Florida lawmakers want to limit how high you can get on medical marijuana: Florida patients can now smoke medical marijuana, but some Republican leaders want to limit how high they can get. The House is considering a proposal that would cap THC levels in medical marijuana at 10 percent, Rep. Ray Rodrigues, R-Estero, said in an interview with the News Service of Florida. No bill has been filed, and Rodrigues said legislation is still "up in the air." It hasn't been determined yet whether the cap would only apply to smokable cannabis or other medical marijuana products as well.
Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz proposes climate counter-proposal dubbed 'Green Real Deal': U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz is drafting a resolution in Congress dubbed the "Green Real Deal," a counterproposal to the "Green New Deal" proposed by U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez last month. Though Gaetz's proposal bears a resemblance to the Green New Deal by calling for a more efficient energy grid and more renewable energy, Gaetz's plan proposes making nuclear energy cheaper; would attempt to nix special interest investments and eliminate regulations that Gaetz claimed block more hydroelectric dams from being built; and would call for carbon sequestration (pumping carbon dioxide underground into dry oil wells) and protection of U.S. innovation in climate technology from intellectual property theft.
Orlando attorney John Morgan's firm still relies on cheap labor despite pushing for $15 minimum wage in Florida: Orlando attorney John Morgan has personally pledged to spend $1 million on his latest political committee, Florida for a Fair Wage, on his mission to raise Florida's minimum wage to $15 an hour. But while doing so, his law firm, Morgan & Morgan, is reportedly outsourcing calls to third-party call centers that pay employees, some off-shore, wages ranging from $12 an hour to as low as $600 a month. "We are hiring as fast as we can to handle all the call volume we receive," a Morgan & Morgan spokesperson said. "We rely on vendors for our overflow."