Florida News That Impact You – July 1st, 2021

Coastal Watches/Warnings and Forecast Cone for Storm Center

Photo: NHC

Tropical Storm Elsa formed in the Atlantic this morning. According to the National Hurricane Center forecasting, Elsa’s likely to maintain tropical storm status as it would be making an approach towards Florida for a potential impact of a tropical storm on Tuesday. All of South Florida is currently within the five-day cone.

In other news, 162 new laws kick in today, over half of what the state legislature passed during the state’s legislative session. Among the highest-profile, the mandatory collection of online sales tax by all online retailers selling into Florida, the ban on vaccine passports, the ability for college athletes to profit off of their likeness, the Trans-Athlete ban, Mandatory Civics education in Florida’s schools, the post-secondary education survey for college administrators to determine the diversity of thought on campuses and Florida’s record-setting budget.

Something that doesn’t kick in today is Florida’s “Big Tech Bill”. U.S. District Court Judge Robert Hinkle issued a temporary injunction preventing the law from taking effect while the merits of the law are considered by the court. The legislation would ban tech companies from blocking, censoring, and de-platforming users based on ideological considerations. 

The death toll stands at 18 in Surfside with 145 people unaccounted for as the search and rescue efforts enter their 8th day. New video reveals a significant water leak in the parking garage with falling debris less than ten minutes before the collapse of Champlain Towers South.

Today begins Florida’s new “Freedom Week” sales tax holiday. The tax-exempt categories are largely entertainment options that were closed during the peak of the pandemic. This includes concert tickets, state parks, and equipment that can be used for camping, museums, movie tickets, sporting event tickets, and theater tickets. The sales tax holiday extends through July 7th.

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