Governor Crist Signs Legislation to Continue Interstate Pest Control Compact Membership

Jun 9, 2009

The Office of Florida Governor Charlie Crist issued the following press release on June 9, 2009:

Governor Crist Signs Legislation to Protect Florida’s Agriculture

~Continues funding for pest control through Interstate Pest Control Compact membership~

TALLAHASSEE – Governor Charlie Crist today signed legislation that will protect Florida’s agriculture by affirming its good membership standing in the Interstate Pest Control Compact (IPCC) while joined by Agriculture Commissioner Charles Bronson. House Bill 255, relating to pest control, ratifies the IPCC which is a 37-state cooperative effort to help fund the control, suppression or elimination of agricultural pests. Representative Leonard Bembry and Senator Charlie Dean sponsored the legislation.

“Today, Florida promises the agricultural industry an important protection by solidifying its membership with the Interstate Pest Control Compact,” said Governor Crist.  “This legislation better prepares Florida for a pest outbreak should one threaten Florida’s crops and lands.”

Commissioner Bronson added, “We appreciate Governor Crist’s support of this measure. It will enable our vital agricultural industry to continue to rely on our state partners for assistance in combating agricultural pests that threaten our crops.”

Florida has been a member of the IPCC since 1995. Florida paid the one-time membership fee of $39,342 in installments from 1995 to 2001. From 1995 to 1999, Florida received $240,522 in financial assistance from the IPCC Insurance Fund for noxious weed and tomato virus control activities. Funds were allocated as follows:

o 1995 received $95,355 for Tropical Soda Apple Management – a fast-growing weed, native to South America.

o 1997 received $70,000 for Tropical Soda Apple Management – this request came from member states North Carolina, Georgia, South Carolina and Alabama.

o 1999 received $75,167 for Tomato Yellow Leaf Curl Virus – a whitefly-transmitted virus native to the eastern Mediterranean.

Governor Crist has made growing and preserving Florida’s agricultural industry a priority. Currently, more than 270 different crops are grown in Florida. Overall, Florida has the tenth largest agricultural industry in the nation.  This year was the deadline for Florida to ratify the compact.

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