FYI Miami: August 13, 2020
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BANKRUPTCY BLIP: While business bankruptcies in South Florida rose 54% in filings from second quarter 2019 to second quarter 2020 according to the US Bankruptcy Court, non-business filings of all chapters declined in the same period from 4,621 last year to 3,067 this year. Patricia Redmond, a bankruptcy lawyer at Stearns Weaver and founder of the Bankruptcy Assistance Clinic at the University of Miami’s School of Law, said this number was probably due to federal aid programs and nationwide moratoriums on evictions and might rise when such programs end. While UM’s clinic saw few requests for bankruptcy help this summer, she said, the clinic and programs nationwide anticipate a significant increase in demand for bankruptcy in the coming year as the moratoriums end.
VACCINE PILOT IN FLORIDA: Florida, which has endured a surge of coronavirus infections this summer, will participate in a Covid-19 vaccine pilot program with the federal government. State Surgeon General Scott Rivkees said Tuesday that Florida has been invited to be part of a federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention vaccine pilot group. He said Florida was one of four states chosen to participate, along with the city of Philadelphia. He said details for the pilot program “will be coming as vaccines become available,” but he did not explain further.
MAYOR SEEKS RENTER’S TAX CREDIT: Miami Mayor Francis Suarez in a piece published on Fortune’s website calls for a renter’s tax credit to help renters and landlords. Penned with Bibi Hidalgo, cofounder of Future Partners, and former US Treasury economist Ernie Tedeschi, the proposed credit would go to those who rent a primary home and don’t own a home on the side. It would be capped at 40% of the monthly income each household earned last year. “In the city of Miami, this would mean up to around $1,500 a month in assistance for a family of four making $40,000,” the piece reads.
EARLY VOTES FLOW: With early voting underway for the Aug. 18 primary elections, more than 1.7 million Floridians had voted by mail or at early-voting sites as of late Monday morning. Nearly 90% of the ballots were cast by mail. Early voting started in parts of the state Aug. 3 and was required to be in place statewide on Saturday. As of late Monday morning, 177,922 people had voted early, including 93,863 Republicans and 73,187 Democrats, according to the state Division of Elections. Meanwhile, 1,554,816 mail-in ballots had been cast, including 767,327 by Democrats and 554,639 by Republicans. The primaries include races for congressional and legislative seats and numerous local posts.