(Miami, FL) – Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen continues to work diligently to highlight the need for more federal Zika funding and to reduce the epidemic’s cost on the residents and taxpayers of South Florida. Today, Ros-Lehtinen penned a letter to House Speaker Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell urging them to ensure that any negotiated Zika supplemental package includes language that orders the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to fully reimburse State and local governments whose jurisdictions were impacted by domestic CDC Zika travel warnings for the costs incurred in emergency Zika response efforts.

Under such a provision, the State of Florida, Miami-Dade County, the City of Miami, and the City of Miami Beach would all be eligible for 100% reimbursement of any funds they spent on emergency Zika response efforts, including costs incurred for public education campaigns, critical health and surveillance infrastructure preparation, and mosquito abatement. The State of Florida has already committed $36.2 million on Zika response, with County and local government Zika response costs in and around the Wynwood and Miami Beach Zika travel warning zones totaling millions of additional dollars. To date, the CDC has limited reimbursement of previously incurred costs to only 20% of any new funds disbursed.

Statement by Rep. Ros-Lehtinen:

“This is an international epidemic and it is completely unacceptable that State and local governments should bear the brunt of the costs because of the federal government’s inaction. I strongly urge House and Senate leadership to ensure that the State of Florida, Miami-Dade County, the City of Miami, the City of Miami Beach, and other impacted jurisdictions are fully reimbursed by the CDC for their Zika response efforts as part of any Zika supplemental package.”