Last Call for 8.30.21 — A prime-time read of what’s going down in Florida politics

A digest of the day's politics and policy while the bartender refreshes your drink.

Last Call — A prime-time read of what’s going down in Florida politics.

First Shot

Florida stands to receive billions under the federal infrastructure bill.

The legislation would send the state $13.1 billion for highways, $2.6 billion for public transportation, and $245 million for bridge repairs.

Some of the funding Florida would receive is aimed at addressing the impacts of climate change and resiliency while other funds are simply overdue upgrades that accomplish that goal.

However, there’s no doubt the bill represents the largest climate resilience spending bill in U.S. history. And its passage represents a bipartisan acknowledgment that climate impacts require a massive federal response.

The bill is also further evidence that Republicans are increasingly acknowledging the impacts of climate change and putting forward their own solutions to address it.

Though U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio voted against the infrastructure bill, he has joined the Senate Climate Caucus and has cosponsored legislation, such as the Growing Climate Solutions Act.

Rubio said his no vote stemmed from the infrastructure package’s cost but said he does support “investing in roads, bridges, broadband, and efforts to mitigate against sea level rise.”

Similarly, U.S. Sen. Rick Scott said, “I think we clearly want to, and need to, address the impacts of climate change, and we’ve got to protect our environment, but we’ve got to do it in a fiscally responsible manner.”

State-level Republicans, for their part, passed the largest resiliency package in the state’s history this year, dedicating ongoing funding to address the impacts of climate change.

Many aspects of the federal infrastructure bill, like $198 million for electric vehicle chargers in the state, will build upon earlier efforts by Gov. Ron DeSantis to fund the installation of chargers across the state’s major corridors.

Lost in the headlines of the infrastructure debate is the fact that key Republican voices are calling for action on climate change.

Their approach may differ from that of their Democratic colleagues, but at both the state and federal level, this is an issue on which Republicans are ready to act.

Evening Reads

We’re hitting the limits of hurricane preparedness” via Robinson Meyer of The Atlantic

45 states have sent in plans to receive more federal COVID-19 funds earmarked for schools; FL is not one of them” via Danielle J. Brown of the Florida Phoenix

The wrong way to test yourself for the coronavirus” via Katherine J. Wu of The Atlantic

Why false claims about COVID-19 vaccines and infertility are so powerful” via Anna North of Vox

Why do we work too much?” via Cal Newport of The New Yorker

What drove 9 moderate House Democrats to hold up their party’s agenda?” via Nathaniel Rakich of FiveThirtyEight

The ivermectin boom is the inevitable product of our crass culture wars” via Natalie Shure of The New Republic

How turf wars mucked up America’s exit from Afghanistan” via Adam Ciralsky of Vanity Fair

The delta variant is making COVID-19 a pandemic of the young” via Gregory Barber of WIRED

Artists and cultural workers face life under Taliban 2.0” via Philip Kennicott of The Washington Post

Quote of the Day

“Talk to your doctors. Do not self-medicate, and certainly do not medicate with a product that is for (an) animal that is much larger than humans.” — Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, announcing that the cow deworming drug ivermectin is sold out in Florida.

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One comment

  • Andrew Finn

    August 30, 2021 at 6:16 pm

    One thing not mentioned for Florida —- Due to Hurricane Ida, the gas prices will be going up. Yeah – there’s a big surprise !!!! The gas station people will spend today raising the prices (on gas in the tanks at stations already bought and paid for) as usual, when something like this happens. This increase will be especially high because it will be added to the increase already scheduled for the Labor Day weekend. Happy motoring !!!!!!!!!!!!

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