Issues of Interest

PULSE REMEMBRANCE DAY Governor DeSantis ordered all flags at local and state buildings be lowered to half-staff on June 12th in honor of the victims on the anniversary of the 2016 shooting at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando.

HURRICANE SEASON Hurricane season officially kicked off June 1st. The state enjoyed a tax-free hurricane preparedness holiday the first week of June. Go here to see a list of names for the 2020 storm season and an explanation on how they are named.

VOLUNTEER FLORIDA FOUNDATION $6.65 million in Florida Disaster Fund grants will be awarded to organizations engaged in Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Michael long-term recovery efforts. The Volunteer Florida Foundation will distribute $3.85 million to nine organizations engaged in Hurricane Irma recovery efforts and $2.79 million to ten organizations engaged in Hurricane Michael recovery efforts. These organizations include: International Orthodox Christian Charities; Rebuilding Together Tampa Bay; Treasure Coast Food Bank; United Way of Broward County; United Way of Collier and the Keys; Bay District Schools; Doorways of Northwest Florida; Federal Alliance for Safe Homes; Feeding the Gulf Coast; Gulf Specimen Marine Laboratories and Habitat for Humanity of Bay County.

NEW AREA CODE The Public Service Commission has approved a new area code for Hillsborough County. People currently using the 813 area code will keep those numbers, but new customers in the same geographic region will use a new 656 area code. The new area code was assigned by the North American Numbering Plan Administrator, an agency that governs phone numbers across the United States. The 813 area code, the second oldest in Florida, was created in 1953 and served a 16-county region from Pasco County to inland portions of Monroe County. It was split to create the 941 area code in 1995, and the 727 area code in 1998.

FLORIDA CABINET The state Cabinet met on May 28th for the first time since February. They agreed to spend $79 million on seven Florida Forever land deals. Included are the purchase of 17,080 acres in Franklin and Wakulla counties; 578 acres in Gulf County; a 2,883-acre conservation easement in DeSoto County; and property in Hendry County that is a Florida panther habitat. The Cabinet will next meet sometime in July.