Issues of Interest

BRIGHTLINE TRAIN SERVICE Brightline, the high-speed rail service from Miami to Orlando, has completed over 50 percent of its construction on the extension to Orlando. Brightline has invested $4.2 billion in the 170-mile extension from West Palm Beach to Orlando International Airport. Local officials held a public relations event to mark the occasion on May 19th signing a bright yellow steel rail.

SPIRIT AIRLINES Competition amongst airlines for Florida travelers’ business is getting fiercer as air flights increase. Budget airline Spirit will begin operations at Miami International Airport and will offer domestic and international flights in October to destinations such as New York, Denver and Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Spirit will not be reducing its flights from Fort Lauderdale despite this expansion to nearby MIA.

CRUISES RETURN Florida’s cruise industry is no longer on hold. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) lowered its travel alert for cruising on June 17th. Now at Level 3, the CDC recommends unvaccinated persons not travel by cruise. But, if they chose to do so, testing is highly suggested 1-3 days before the cruise and 3-5 days after the trip. Additionally, a federal judge granted a preliminary injunction against the CDC saying it cannot enforce its conditional sailing order against a cruise ship arriving in, within or departing from a port in Florida. The State of Florida sued the CDC earlier this year over its no-sail order.

TELEHEALTH FOR FARMERS Farmers and ranchers can access a comprehensive online directory of stress and mental health resources thanks to the American Farm Bureau Federation. It includes counseling services, podcasts, articles and crisis hotlines. The directory can be found here.