Anti-citrus greening effort gets boost in congressional budget deal

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 Additional funding sought by U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson and members of Florida’s congressional delegation to fight a citrus-killing disease that’s threatening Florida’s $9 billion citrus industry is included in the bipartisan congressional budget deal unveiled last night.
  
About $20 million to bolster the fight against citrus greening is tucked into the broad budget bill agreed to by leaders in both chambers and on both sides of the aisle. 
  
“This isn’t everything we’ve been pushing for in the farm bill, but $20 million is a good step and will allow us to accelerate the research we’ve started,” Nelson said in a statement.   
  
This $20 million is in addition to the $11 million Nelson helped secure two years ago to fund the research into combating and eradicating the citrus disease that’s infected crops in Florida, California, Louisiana, Georgia and South Carolina.
  
Meantime, Nelsoncontinues to push for a provision in the Senate farm bill that would create a trust fund to pay for the war on citrus greening.  It would provide up to $30 million a year for the next five years.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.