Florida Legislature to look at Hurricane Michael recovery
TALLAHASSEE — After spending more than $1 billion in the almost five months since Hurricane Michael ripped through a large swath of the eastern Panhandle, state lawmakers say it’s clear that the cleanup, recovery and cost of one of the nation’s worst storms is far from complete.
When lawmakers open the 2019 session Tuesday, they’ll be struggling to meet what Senate budget chief Rob Bradley, R-Fleming Island, said is a likely price tag topping $2.7 billion.
On top of that, more than $600 million is proposed to be scattered across another 100 projects — rebuilding communities, schools and infrastructure across some of the 10 counties staggered by the Category 4 storm.
“It’s going to guide our decision-making from a budget standpoint,” said Senate President Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton.
But there clearly is competition for the cash.
While Northwest Florida residents and officials have complained about the region being forgotten since the October hurricane — with donations to relief funds below those which poured in following earlier hurricanes — lawmakers have a long list of spending priorities.
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