Issues of Interest

DISCOUNTED STATE PARK ADMISSION The Great Outdoors Initiative offers a 50 percent discount for Florida State Park annual passes for families and individuals to encourage outdoor recreation. Additionally, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is offering 50 percent off its annual resident Gold Sportsman’s license, 5-year Gold Sportsman’s license, and Lifetime Gold Sportsman’s license. More information may be found here. Enjoy the great outdoors!       

THEME PARK PRICE INCREASES Disney raised their parking fee rate by $5 to $30 per day as of October 11th. In addition, all annual pass options increased between $30 to $50. Universal Studios raised their one day passes by $10 or $20. SeaWorld has not yet announced if they plan to change their ticket prices.

FOREIGN OWNERSHIP Florida has launched the SecureFlorida Portal, where principals from foreign countries of concern must register property. Recently passed legislation requires landowners from the People’s Republic of China and other countries of concern to register their ownership. A foreign principal that fails to timely file a registration with FloridaCommerce is subject to a civil penalty of $1,000 for each day the registration is late.

JOB GROWTH GRANT FUND Santa Rosa County was awarded $4.2 million from the Florida Job Growth Grant Fund for infrastructure improvements. The money will be used to construct a helipad and build a taxiway to connect Naval Air Station Whiting Field to Whiting Aviation Park. Over 150 jobs are expected to be created. An additional $28 million award was made to expand semiconductor and chip manufacturing. This grant will be shared between five workforce development projects in Osceola County and at Valencia College, Sante Fe College, Lake Technical College and Eastern Florida State College.

HURRICANE IDALIA RELIEF Over $18 million will be available through an RFP for 18 counties affected by Hurricane Idalia. The Hurricane Idalia Disaster Case Management Program received the funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The application deadline is December 13th. More information about the program may be found here.

FLORIDA VIRTUAL SCHOOL The Florida Virtual Academy was established during the 2023 legislative session to create educational and career opportunities for children in the juvenile justice system. The Florida Department of Juvenile Justice selected the Florida Virtual School to serve as the service provider for the Academy.