DeSantis visits “Anti-Florida,” vows to bring Disney to heel
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis visited Michigan on a nationwide tour, widely viewed as another dry-run for an expected White House bid. While there, he criticized “ideological” prosecutors over Trump’s indictment, and referred to Florida Democrats as roadkill. But most notably, at least for Florida residents, DeSantis vowed to rectify the situation with Walt Disney Co., accusing it of trying to “pull a fast one” by securing 30 years of development control through the outgoing Reedy Creek board. He also discussed the difference in abortion rights between Florida and Michigan, with the latter having enshrined abortion in its state constitution.
Too many outstanding insurance claims from Hurricane Ian prompt state action
More than six months after Hurricane Ian devastated Southwest Florida, thousands of residents are still waiting but unable to make repairs due to severe insurance claim problems. State data shows that more than 143,000 claims – roughly 1-in-5, remain open and pending, raising concerns among consumers and state officials. Florida’s Insurance Consumer Advocate (ICA) Tasha Carter highlighted extreme delays, multiple adjusters, and unsatisfactory settlement offers among other challenges that hurricane victims have had to contend with. In response, Carter has requested designated liaisons within insurance companies to handle Hurricane Ian complaints and inquiries. Florida’s Chief Financial Officer, Jimmy Patronis, appointed her as the Hurricane Ian Chief Recovery Director.
Florida jobless claims down
Florida unemployment claims continue to drop, according to a report by the U.S. Department of Labor. The report shows 4,874 first-time claims were filed in the state during the week that ended April 1, which is a decrease from the previous week’s count of 5,129. On average, Florida has had 5,720 claims filed per week since the beginning of the year. Over the past four weeks, the state has seen an average of 5,133 new claims. The unemployment rate in Florida was 2.6% in February, with 284,000 Floridians considered unemployed, which was a decrease of 2,000 from the previous month. Meanwhile, the labor force increased by 24,000 people to 10.879 million. The March unemployment report for the state will be released on April 21 by the Department of Economic Opportunity.
Three fresh faces running in HD 94
House District 94 has three political newcomers vying for the seat. The latest entrant, Anthony Aguirre, is a healthcare-focused businessman. The seat will be vacated by Republican Rep. Rick Roth due to term limits. Aguirre is advocating for the fight against “wokeism” and is set to compete against two other Republicans, Gabrielle Fox, a psychologist and entrepreneur from Palm Beach Gardens, and Jon Carter, a former staffer for multiple politicians. The district covers the suburbs of West Palm Beach to the agricultural lands of Belle Glade.
Albritton raises big bucks
In March, Senator Ben Albritton’s political committee, Advancing Florida Agriculture, raised $279,500 and has a cash balance of approximately $730,000. Contributions from Slide Insurance Holdings, Inc. and United States Sugar Corp accounted for $35,000 and $25,000, respectively. All state candidates and political committees are required to file reports showing financial activity up to March 31 by Monday.
Fine, Ingoglia scoop over $100,000 each in March
Florida lawmakers Rep. Randy Fine and Sen. Blaise Ingoglia raised over $100,000 for their political committees in preparation for the 2024 campaigns. Fine’s political committee, Friends of Randy Fine, raised $147,804 and Fine himself raised $20,325 for his campaign account. Fine plans to run for Senate District 19 but has also emerged as a potential candidate for president of Florida Atlantic University. Ingoglia raised $107,500 for his Government Gone Wild PAC in March and is running for re-election in Senate District 11. The deadline for filing finance activity reports through March 31 is on Monday for candidates and committees. Lawmakers were prohibited from raising funds after the start of the legislative session on March 7.