FYI Miami: August 30, 2018
Below are some of the FYIs in this week’s edition. The entire content of this week’s FYIs and Insider sections is available by subscription only. To subscribe click here.
TRADE PACT CONCERNS: While President Donald Trump on Monday hailed a tentative trade deal with Mexico, Florida’s US senators, Marco Rubio and Bill Nelson, raised concerns about whether the deal would adequately protect Florida farmers. They suggested that the deal could face opposition in Congress if concerns of Florida farmers are not addressed. In a joint letter to US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, they requesting that he work “diligently to ensure Florida’s agriculture community is fairly represented in the forthcoming trade deal” and pointing to past issues that have hurt the state’s farmers. “As we have previously written, Florida is one of the few places in the US that can produce warm-weather fruits and vegetables in the winter, forcing our growers to bear the brunt of Mexican trade abuses. Without just relief, Mexican producers will continue to drive our growers out of business and eventually take full control of the US market during the winter.” (Canada points to Florida’s pivotal trade position, page 9.)
HOTELS PACK ’EM IN: Miami-Dade hotels had record occupancies, average daily room rates and revenue per available room in the first seven months of this year, the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau reported this week. Citing figures from national research firm STR, the bureau reported total hotel occupancy in the county of 80.5% of capacity from January through July, up 1.9% from the 79% occupancy for the same months of 2017. The average daily room rate was fourth highest in the nation at $213.10, up 9.3% from $195.03 in the same period of 2017. And revenue per available room rose 11.4% to reach fourth highest in the US level of $171.59 per room, versus $154.03 in the same period of 2017.
COUNTY BUDGET HEARING: Miami-Dade commissioners will hold a public budget hearing regarding the county’s tentative budget and proposed millage rates for fiscal 2018-19 in Commission Chambers at Government Center at 5 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 6. A second public hearing on the matters is scheduled for Sept. 20 at the same time and location.
CARVALHO ON POLITICS: Miami-Dade County Public Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho last week said the “sometimes unholy dance” of politics has become “more difficult in recent years,” adding that he hoped to see “a rapid regression to political reason that advances the need of communities more than the partisan necessities of those who lead them.” Mr. Carvalho, a former school district lobbyist well acquainted with legislative processes in Tallahassee and on Capitol Hill, stopped short of naming names. “The divisiveness, controversy and rhetoric,” he said, “get in the way of the fair representation of the people.”