Democratic Florida state Sen. Jeff Clemens tried his very best during a Senate budget subcommittee hearing to corner a Florida official into using the phrase “climate change,” which has reportedly been banned in the state, but the official dodged the term multiple times.
Bryan Koon, the Florida chief of emergency management, testified at the hearing on the state’s request for federal funding to improve safety notifications ahead of natural disasters, according to the Miami Herald. During the hearing, Clemens referenced reports that FEMA will require states seeking preparedness funds to include an assessment of how climate change could impact their state.
Clemens asked Koon if he was aware that FEMA will “be requesting or demanding that states have a climate change plan before they’re going to issue some of these preparedness dollars.”
“That one refers to a state’s hazard mitigation plan, which is done every five years, and the next iterations of them will require to have language to that effect,” Koon responded, avoiding the term “climate change.”
Clemens then offered an alternative term.
“I used ‘climate change,’ but I’m suggesting that maybe as a state, we use the term ‘atmospheric reemployment.’ That might be something that the governor could get behind,” he said, as hearing attendees can be heard laughing.
Koon said that the state will not need a new plan until 2018 and that only future plans “will be required to have language discussing that issue.”
“What issue is that?” Clemens asked, smiling.
“The issue you mentioned earlier,” Koon responded, as hearing attendees erupted into laughter again.
According to a report by the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting, Florida officials have been banned from using the terms “climate change” and “global warming” in official communications. But Gov. Rick Scott’s (R) office has denied that such an official policy exists. A Florida state employee was reportedly reprimanded in March after he included the term “climate change” in a meeting summary.
Watch a clip of the hearing via Forecast the Facts:
H/t Raw Story