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Gov. Scott: In absence of federal action, state allocating $10 million more to fight Zika

FT. MYERS, Fla. – Today, following Gov. Rick Scott’s trip to Washington D.C. this week where he met with Congress to express the urgent need for funding to combat the Zika virus, Gov. Scott is authorizing an additional $10 million in state funds to fight Zika. In June, Gov. Scott used his emergency executive authority to authorize $26.2 million in state funds for Zika preparedness, prevention and response in Florida from the state’s General Revenue fund. Total state funds now authorized for Zika is $36.2 million. The funding will be allocated as needed and will be spent solely for the purpose of Zika preparedness, including:

  • Mosquito surveillance and abatement;
  • Training for mosquito control technicians;
  • Enhanced laboratory capacity; and
  • The purchase of CDC Zika Prevention Kits.

Gov. Scott said, “This week I met with Congressional members to let them know that the time is up for politics and political debates about a major federal effort to stop Zika and that we need federal action now. Zika is non-partisan and I have been very clear that something had to get done this week. While it doesn’t look like that is going to happen, I will not wait on the federal government to protect Floridians and our visitors. Today, I am authorizing an additional $10 million in state funding to continue combating the Zika virus. In June, I used my emergency executive authority to authorize $26.2 million in state funds for Zika preparedness, prevention and response. With most of the original funding now allocated, and with more than 75 cases of locally acquired Zika and more requests from local communities for resources, we simply cannot wait on federal action any longer.

“Everyone I met with this week believes something needs to get done on Zika. But, nothing has happened. While Washington continues to spend money on wasteful projects every year, they cannot seem to agree on spending for a virus that severely impacts pregnant women and their growing babies. Every year, hundreds of bills come across my desk for approval. They are certainly not all perfect bills. But, my job as Governor is to do what is best for Florida, and I expect the same from Congress. The debate over a perfect bill cannot overshadow the need for immediate Zika funding. While I will keep allocating whatever resources are necessary from the state, I hope federal funding is quickly approved because this is a national issue that reaches beyond our state. Florida is unfortunately just the beginning.”