Issues of Interest

CLIMATE REPORT RELEASED  The Fourth National Climate Assessment warns that humans must take action now “to avoid substantial damages to the U.S. economy, environment, and human health and well-being over the coming decades.” The 1,000-page report looks at how climate change is already disrupting life with more hurricanes, wildfires, heat waves and other disasters. Rising sea levels, particularly in Florida, mean greater damage from storm surges during hurricanes such as we saw with Hurricane Michael. An insurance industry group has ranked the Tampa Bay region as the most vulnerable metropolitan area in the United States to storm surge, with $175 billion in potential losses. 

CHRISTMAS TREE SHORTAGE As we gear up for the holidays, Floridians and most of the country may find prices for Christmas trees higher this year. Many farms closed a decade ago due to the recession. According to the National Christmas Tree Association, it takes between seven and 15 years for a tree to grow from a seedling to somewhere around six or seven feet tall. 

GILLUM CONTRIBUTIONS  Former gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum continues to raise funds through his Forward Florida political committee. According to the latest campaign contribution report, which ended on November 30th, the committee raised approximately $1.25 million from over 27,000 contributors since the general election.  The committee has over $4.8 million in its coffers.  

FLORIDA CRIME FALLS According to the 2018 Semi-Annual Uniform Crime Report, Florida’s crime dropped eight percent in the first six months of 2018 as compared to 2017. The index crimes of robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny and motor vehicle theft were down while murder and rape increased slightly. Domestic violence crimes were also lower. The full report, including a county-by-county breakdown, may be found here