Issues of Interest

STATE OF EMERGENCY Following the shooting in Orlando on June 12th, Governor Rick Scott issued a state of emergency for Orange County and requested an Emergency Declaration under the Stafford Act from President Barack Obama. Two GoFundMe accounts have brought in over $4 million and several other community groups, including the Orlando Magic, have donated funds for the victims and their families. On Monday, June 13th, Governor Scott announced the activation of the Florida Disaster Fund, created to help provide financial support to organizations that serve survivors and their families. To make a contribution, please visit www.FloridaDisasterFund.org.

FLORIDA TOURISTS Close to 30 million tourists visited our State in the first quarter of this year, up 4.8 percent from the same period in 2015. Florida is on track for another record-breaking year with the potential to exceed the 105 million visitors in 2015.  Over 1.2 million Floridians, or approximately 13 percent of the workforce, are employed by the tourism industry.

SUMMER MEALS FOR KIDS The Florida Department of Agriculture has partnered with community organizations across the State to run the Summer BreakSpot program. The program offers nutritious meals, recreational fun and educational activities at thousands of locations statewide, primarily at schools and community centers.  Visit SummerFoodFlorida.org to find breakspots.

ZIKA VIRUS There are over 600 known cases of Zika in the U.S., with over 195 in Florida. Governor Scott penned a letter to President Obama asking the federal government to do more to combat the virus in Florida after Congress recessed for the summer without coming to an agreement on funding. The upcoming hurricane season, with anticipated wet weather, raises serious concerns about the potential spread of the virus. Governor Scott and Florida Surgeon General Celeste Philip are traveling the state raising awareness and discussing Zika preparedness with local officials.

 NEW HIV DATA CENTER The Florida Department of Health launched its new HIV Data Center in an effort to share information about the treatment and prevention of human immunodeficiency virus in the state.  The website serves as an education tool that features recorded cases of HIV; information on the Center for Disease Control’s data gathering and deduplication processes; and will help determine HIV/AIDS resource needs to implement and evaluate those programs.

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