Florida News That Impact You – November 17th, 2021

Florida Declares State Of Emergency Over Toxic Algae Bloom From Lake Okeechobee

Photo: Getty Images

The four bills being considered in the current special Legislative Session continued to progress on Tuesday. The first bill to clear all committees in both chambers is SB 8, which would prevent the state’s Surgeon General from mandating vaccinations of Floridians. The proposed legislation will now go to a full vote in both chambers. 

In other news, on Tuesday 1,552 new cases of COVID-19 were reported. Florida resumed a lower trend. The state now averages 1,564 daily cases over the past week. 

The Army Corps of Engineers finalized a new framework that will direct the future water control plan for Lake Okeechobee discharges. Under normal conditions, eastern discharges into Florida’s waterways won’t occur up to 95% of the time. Instead, the excess water will be sent south into the Everglades. However, East-West discharges during “stressful” times could continue as they currently do. 

Lastly, Florida had a record number of tourists visiting the state in the third quarter. According to Visit Florida, just over 32.5 million tourists visited the state between July and September. That's higher than the record number of visitors from 2019’s pre-pandemic levels.

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