Rubio Introduces Legislation to Strengthen Mosquito Control

Rubio Introduces Legislation to Strengthen Mosquito Control

Jackson Bakich
Jackson Bakich
|
August 1, 2023

With the recent Malaria outbreak throughout the state of Florida in mind, Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) has reintroduced the Strengthening Mosquito Abatement for Safety and Health (SMASH) 2.0 Act which would “reauthorize critical public health tools” to ensure that local municipalities are supported in their mosquito control efforts.

Floridians know mosquitoes can be a nuisance in the summer, especially around bodies of water like lakes and rivers. And with the prospect of malaria in the United States, the issue’s importance has reached new levels.

“The threat of mosquito-borne illness is a concern for Florida, Puerto Rico, and other parts of our country. We must take proactive measures to ensure the safety and health of all Americans. States and localities must have the tools they need to combat illnesses spread by mosquitoes. This bill is another step toward keeping Floridians and tourists safe,” stated Sen. Rubio.

Senator Angus King (I-ME), who caucuses with Democrats, joined the effort alongside Sen Rubio, co-sponsoring the bill's reintroduction.

“One of the best parts about living in Maine is being able to spend time outdoors, but the threat of dangerous illnesses from mosquito bites is becoming a real concern. We must continue to provide states with the necessary tools to keep their residents, visitors, and everyone trying to enjoy the great outdoors from these ‘invisible’ threats,” said Sen. King.

He went on to mention, “While the original SMASH Act has improved our response efforts at the national and state level, our detection and control tactics need to continuously evolve. I want to thank my colleagues for joining me in this fight against this harmful pest wreaking havoc in all of our backyards.”

Moreover, Senator Rick Scott (R-FL), one of the original co-sponsors of the legislation, stated that this piece of legislation is “a good step to help Floridians and visitors stay safe.”

“I’m proud to join my colleagues in this bill to strengthen the CDC’s efforts to control mosquito-borne diseases and ensure our state and local governments have the resources they need to combat dangerous illnesses. This is a good step to help Floridians and visitors stay safe and healthy as they enjoy the warm summer months, beautiful beaches and great outdoors that Florida has to offer,” mentioned Sen. Scott.

The SMASH Act looks to build upon the Mosquito Abatement Safety and Health (MASH) Act that was enacted in 2003 in response to the West Nile virus. The new version increases support for state and local mosquito control, as well as aids in the development of new countermeasures, and continues surveillance of mosquitoes through “innovative and novel technology.”

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Jackson Bakich

Jackson Bakich

Born in Orlando but raised in Lake County, Florida, Jackson Bakich is currently a senior at Florida State University. Growing up in the sunshine state, Bakich co-hosted the political talk radio show "Lake County Roundtable" (WLBE) and was a frequent guest for "Lake County Sports Show" (WQBQ). Currently, he is the Sports Editor of the FSView and the co-host of "Tomahawk Talk" (WVFS), a sports talk radio program covering Florida State athletics in Tallahassee.

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