There’s nothing quite like South Beach sunrises, is there? 😍🌅😍 | Want to see your own picture in this space? Tag either #thenewtropic or @thenewtropic to be featured in our Instagram of the Day. (📸: @christefl42)
💰 ICYMI, Gov. Ron DeSantis approved Florida’s largest budget ever last week. The governor was at The Garlic in New Smyrna Beach when he signed the state’s $101 billion spending plan, of which $10.2 billion is comprised of federal COVID-19 relief money. (The new spending plan is $9 billion more than the year previous.)
It’s considered a win for Florida educators, as $22.4 billion will be used to fund K-12 schools and raise teachers’ minimum salaries to $47,500. Additionally, overall spending for community-based mental health services was bolstered to the tune of $212 million statewide.
With that said, DeSantis also vetoed $1.5 billion in spending. This included the controversial decision not to allocate $150,000 in mental health support for survivors of the mass shooting at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub.
Speaking of Orlando area concerns, the film school at Valencia College will not be getting the $1 million it had requested to create a documentary about the heinous 1920 Ocoee Massacre. Rep. Randolph Bracy, who pushed for the funding, did however secure the $305,000 needed for the Ocoee Scholarship Program, which will grant tuition payments of up to $6,100 to descendants of the victims of the 1920 riots. You can read more about it in this Miami New Times report.
The spending plan goes into effect on July 1.
In other news...
🚫 Twitter suspended whistleblower Rebekah Jones from its platform yesterday. She was reportedly removed from the site for oversharing a recent Miami Herald article about her experience at the Florida Department of Health; as of writing, it’s unknown whether or not she’ll be allowed to return to the social media network. Jones became a public figure last year after claiming she was fired from the state department for refusing to manipulate Florida’s official COVID-19 numbers. (Miami Herald / Florida Politics)
🌊 There’s a heated debate going on over how Miami ought to best deal with climate change and sea level rise. Rachel Silverstein, the executive director of Miami Waterkeeper, was quoted in a recent article in The New York Times titled “A 20-foot-high seawall? Miami faces hard choices caused by climate change.” In the piece, she pushes back against a $6 billion plan by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that includes, among other proposals, a sea wall that would span six miles horizontally and 20 feet vertically. Silverstein and other environmentalists are instead advocating for more natural solutions such as mangrove restoration and living shorelines. (The New York Times / Miami Waterkeeper via Instagram)
🗣 Miami’s 2021 Bitcoin Conference made headlines over the weekend, and not necessarily the good kind like you'd want. The two-day meeting of the minds attracted thousands of attendees and was billed as the largest gathering of its kind around the world. However, there were some logistical hiccups that led some to compare it to the infamous Fyre Festival, the standard against which all mismanaged events are judged. One of the conference’s satellite events included a DJ set by Paris Hilton at E11even; if you’ve been keeping up with The New Tropic, you may remember the club is the first venue of its kind to accept cryptocurrency in the country. Ignoring the environmental concerns of crypto for a moment, now seems as good a time as any to reshare the newsletter’s recent thoughts on the Miami Tech movement we’re all living through right now. (Miami New Times / Page Six)
😬 The bitcoin conference wasn’t the only recent Miami happening to elicit comparisons to Fyre Festival: Acclaimed chef and writer Eddie Huang invoked the ill-fated music fest when discussing Sunday night’s exhibition boxing match between YouTuber Logan Paul and professional athlete Floyd Mayweather at the Hard Rock Stadium. (Local 10)