Orlando Sentinel: Rushed request for $2.5 billion for Florida agriculture needs vetting

Orlando Sentinel: Written by Scott Maxwell. October 18, 2017.

n today’s column, we have items on aliens, clowns, nude photos and backwards horse racing.

But first, Florida politicians are begging Congress for a $2.5 billion relief package for Florida agriculture in the wake of Hurricane Irma.

Gov. Rick Scott and Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam — both beneficiaries of hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from big players in agriculture — say the industry desperately needs the money.

Scott stressed that Florida farmers are “not looking for a government handout.”

Just a lot of money. Specifically, $760 million for citrus, $625 million for nurseries, $360 million for sugar, $37 million for aquaculture and more.

I believe in hurricane relief. It’s a natural part of storm recovery.

But I also think this request should be carefully vetted … because it got really big really fast.

Before the storm struck, Bloomberg reported that Irma could do as much as $1.2 billion

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