The Florida citrus industry is giving Gov. Rick Scott a nod of approval after he signed the state’s $70 billion budget and did not veto the $2 million appropriation for citrus research. As a result, this money will go directly to the Citrus Research and Development Foundation to supplement grower box tax funds in FY2012-2013. At current production levels, this equates to approximately 1.2 cents per box.
“We have been talking to the governor and his staff quite a bit over the past year and we really think he has come to understand the importance of our $9 billion industry and the fact we must beat HLB to remain viable,” says Mike Sparks, executive vice president and CEO of Florida Citrus Mutual. “Of course, none of this would have been possible without the outstanding efforts of Sen. JD Alexander and Rep. Denise Grimsley, two of our industry’s strongest allies.”