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Orange juice, movie sequel and staycations in Florida's budget

9:48 PM, May 8, 2013   |    comments
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Oranges harvested by workers for Sorrells Brothers Packing Co., Inc wait for transport from the fields July 13, 2006 in Arcadia, Florida. For the second straight season, late-maturing oranges in hurricane-hit areas will leave Florida with one of its worst citrus crops in more than a decade with labor shortages making it difficult to harvest the late-season Valencia oranges. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Orange juice, a Hollywood movie and lots of fighting are at the center of a state budget you helped fund, and some people think that's a good idea.

For 12 years, Gail Harris has been serving up a free cup of juice with a smile to visitors at the Florida Welcome Center.

"It is like a tradition. They have to come in. It is a tradition," she said.

The tradition to fund free juice dates back to 1951. This year, the state spent $240,000 on it.

"I think it's a good idea, I really do. Florida is known for orange juice," said Bob Williams.  

"It's healthy, it's refreshing, and it tastes great," said Susan Ross.  

However, some of the other initiatives being funded in the budget raised some eyebrows.

Legislators voted to invest $5 million dollars to make A Dolphin Tale, the sequel.

"I haven't seen it, so I don't know," said Williams.

"I don't know, I like dolphins, but I don't think I saw the prequel," said Ross.

The movie grossed more than $72 million dollars, so it might end up paying off.

The budget also bets on Floridians loving Florida.

$500,000 will go toward getting people in Florida taking a staycation, within state lines.

"They're spending money, they're buying gas, they're stopping at Arby's. So it's the entire economy," said Williams.

And Gail will be there to welcome you home.

"This is Florida, it's the juice," said Harris.  

First Coast News

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