Voodoo florists and tattoo artists in Florida say they’ve been hit with a new threat as the state’s new governor, Jeb Bush, prepares to sign into law the state budget.
The budget passed by Florida’s Legislature this week also includes $50 million to help the state fight the spread of Zika, according to state Rep. Chris Gibson.
The funding is part of a $2.5 billion package the state has agreed to with the federal government to help fight the Zika virus.
The state is also preparing to offer a $1 million scholarship to help residents of its most populous cities and counties afford travel to areas that have experienced Zika.
The Florida Department of Health says the state already has spent more than $6 million in emergency funding to fight the virus.
But the department said in a statement that this funding is not sufficient to cover the cost of the Zika emergency response and that it has requested additional funds from the federal health department.
“The funding is an appropriate amount to provide emergency support to affected areas,” the department wrote.
“The state has made clear that it will continue to provide assistance to affected communities, including in response to the Zika outbreak.”
The Zika outbreak has killed more than 1,300 people in the United States, according the World Health Organization.
Dr. David Mascaro, president of the Florida Association of Health Professionals, told The Associated Press that while Florida’s budget has been the focus of concern, the federal aid is “a good first step to begin a process of making sure the funds are there.”
“There’s no question that we have a long way to go,” Mascario said.
“This is a good first start to get people focused on the need to help people get back on their feet.”
Dr., David Mascaros, president, Florida Association for Health Professionality.
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