Hurricane Funding Passed By House Committee


An emergency response bill that provides additional resources to support ongoing relief for communities impacted by hurricane Ian cleared the House Appropriations Committee Monday.

The bill includes $50 million in funding for a Local Government Bridge Loan Program within the Department of Economic Opportunity.

The town of Fort Myers Beach is hoping to receive some of that funding to help solidify its finances as it moves forward with rebuilding. Following the storm the town lost a lot of revenue. There was no parking revenue coming in, permit fees were waived for several months, and taxes came in lower than anticipated with so many homes destroyed of severely damaged in the island. State lawmakers have promised to help Fort Myers Beach get through their financial crisis.

Chris Holley, who was the primary interim Town Manager after the November election, before his business partner Keith Wilkins took over in January, was in Tallahassee to give testimony to the committee.

The committee unanimously voted in support of the bill. It will still need to be approved by the full House, reconciled with the Senate, and signed by Governor DeSantis.

Republican Rep. Mike Giallombardo, who lives in Lee County, introduced the bill.