The Florida Department of Health revealed a total of 120 organizations that are currently being investigated by the state for potential violations of the state law banning proof of vaccination as a condition of service. The organizations run the gambit from the Miami Marlins to local governments, numerous hospitals/medical service providers, performance theaters like the Kravis Center, Live Nation, a condominium complex plus a host of businesses. Under state law fines of up to $5,000 per occurrence can be imposed.
Florida’s shortage of educators continues to grow in the early months of the school year. According to the Florida Education Association, there are now over 5,000 teacher vacancies statewide, an increase of 67% over a year ago. Additionally, there are over 4,000 current job openings for support staff within school districts.
In other news, according to a Sun-Sentinel report, only 16% of educators are using the SaferWatch app which is designed to provide emergency safety information to educators in the event of an emergency. The app purports to provide the specific location of a threat within a school in an emergency and was created as part of Alyssa’s Law after the attack at Stoneman Douglas in 2018. Some educators have expressed concern that the app would track personal information on their mobile devices which SaferWatch denies.
Lastly, according to a study by the Foundation for Government Accountability, the state’s decision to end the federal extended unemployment benefits accelerated the state’s economic recovery. Within the study, unemployment costs dropped by 86% once Governor DeSantis announced the extended benefits would end with an additional 1.3 million Floridians gaining employment. The study also found Florida’s economy now exceeds pre-pandemic levels by $60 billion with our state leading the country in new business filings.