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Mosquito control boards seeking more money from state

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

Members of local mosquito control districts are in Tallahassee Wednesday to ask lawmakers for $3.8 million in next year’s budget to fight the two-winged insects.

The Florida Mosquito Control Association held a press conference in the Capitol to drum up support, appearing with state Rep. Matt Caldwell, chairman of the House Government Accountability Committee.

The problem: The state’s relatively warm winter means it’s likely there will be more active mosquitoes and another outbreak of Zika virus infections.

“With the outbreak of Zika we saw in our state last year, it is imperative that we continue to remain vigilant,” Caldwell said. “Mosquitoes ignore county lines, so we must look at mosquito control as a statewide effort in order to be most effective at reducing this dangerous mosquito population and the risk of Zika.”

The $3.8 million request is an increase of $1.2 million over last year.

The money will go toward research and street-level control, said Andrea Leal, Executive Director of the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District and co-chair of the Florida Mosquito Control Association’s Legislative Committee.

A Periscope video of the press conference can be viewed below:

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Before joining Florida Politics, journalist and attorney James Rosica was state government reporter for The Tampa Tribune. He attended journalism school in Washington, D.C., working at dailies and weekly papers in Philadelphia after graduation. Rosica joined the Tallahassee Democrat in 1997, later moving to the courts beat, where he reported on the 2000 presidential recount. In 2005, Rosica left journalism to attend law school in Philadelphia, afterwards working part time for a public-interest law firm. Returning to writing, he covered three legislative sessions in Tallahassee for The Associated Press, before joining the Tribune’s re-opened Tallahassee bureau in 2013. He can be reached at jim@floridapolitics.com.

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