Issues of Interest

FLORIDA TOURISM VISIT Florida recorded a 60.5 percent drop in visitors during the second quarter of this year. International visitors plunged by more than 90 percent. The quarterly estimate is 12.8 million total visitors as compared to 32.4 million for the same period in 2019.

HIGH SPEED RAIL The company behind the high-speed rail project that will eventually connect Orlando to Miami has severed ties with Richard Branson’s Virgin Enterprises and will be reverting to its original name – Brightline.

EV CHARGING STATIONS The Florida Department of Environmental Protection announced $8.6 million awards from the legal settlement with Volkswagen to add 34 fast-charging stations for electric vehicles along Interstates 4, 75, 95, 275 and 295. Project selection was based on the proximity of stations to highways and amenities and their importance to hurricane evacuation routes.

ROAD DESIGNATION The Florida Department of Transportation held a road designation ceremony on July 8th in Ocoee in honor of July Perry, an African-American who was kidnapped and lynched after attempting to vote in his hometown in 1920. Known as the Ocoee Massacre, 50 black men were shot and killed as they tried to exercise their right to vote. The marker should be erected in November.

PRESCRIPTION DRUGS The White House launched a lower prescription drug price initiative in late July with Governor DeSantis joining President Donald Trump for the signing of the executive order. Lowering the cost of prescription drugs has been a top priority for DeSantis, and was the subject of an authorization bill passed by the Legislature in anticipation of the President’s order.