Another $700 million is soon on the way for communities recovering from Hurricanes Ian and Nicole. Last week, the Legislature sent a bill (SB 2B) to Gov. Ron DeSantis that would establish an emergency bridge loan fund and replenish the state’s catastrophe fund. House Speaker Paul Renner said the funding was critical.
“We don’t wait around to fix problems and we fixed a number of those this week, beginning with continuing to provide hurricane relief to affected communities from hurricanes Ian and Nicole,” he told the press. The House passed the bill on Friday, February 10, in a 106 - 0 vote. The Senate earlier in the week approved the legislation in a 39 - 0 vote.
When signed, the legislation will immediately create a dedicated Local Government Emergency Bridge Loan Program within the Department of Economic Opportunity. That will facilitate $50 million in nonrecurring dollars from the general revenue fund.
Another $650 million in general revenue would also be transferred to the Emergency Preparedness and Response Fund. The Legislature last year approved that fund with $500 million available.