News Clips

Florida Politics

Congressional delegation tackles ways to preserve Florida tourism

Environmental protections and improved infrastructure will be critical to preserving Florida tourism, state officials told members Congress Thursday. At a special meeting of Florida’s Congressional Delegation, industry leaders said tourism depended on ecological treasures surviving into the future. “We have launched efforts to showcase some of our natural attractions and pushing people to some of our more rural areas,” said Dana Young, president of VISIT FLORIDA. “Once people see the natural beauties of our state they will be more inclined to do things to maintain them and protect them.” Florida has seen record tourism the last eight years. But that means fresh demands on roads, ports and other infrastructure.

WCTV

US budget deficit surges to $134.5 billion in October

The federal government, which ended the 2019 budget year with its largest deficit in seven years, began the new budget year with a deficit in October that was 33.8% bigger than a year ago as spending hit a record. The Treasury Department said Wednesday that the deficit last month totaled $134.5 billion, up from a shortfall in October 2018 of $100.5 billion. The government ran up a deficit of $984.4 billion for the 2019 budget year that ended Sept. 30, 26% larger than in 2018. The Congressional Budget Office is forecasting that the deficit for 2020 will hit $1 trillion and will remain over $1 trillion for the next decade. The country has not experienced $1 trillion annual deficits since 2009 through 2012 following the 2008 financial crisis.

Roll Call

Florida senators want federal help on their red tide problem

As Florida grapples with so-called red tides of algal blooms along its coasts and waterways, the state's senators are pushing the federal government to come up with a plan to help control them. The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee will on Wednesday mark up a bill sponsored by Republican Sens. Marco Rubio and Rick Scott aiming to find a solution to the toxic algae that cost the state's tourism industry millions of dollars each year.  The House in September passed a companion bill that was introduced by Rep. Brian Mast, R- Fla.