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South Florida Lawmaker Proposes Hurricane Michael Recovery Plan

Steve Cannon
AP Photo

The House Appropriations committee moved forward with their budget proposal for the upcoming fiscal year. But, Rep. Kionne McGhee (D-Cutler Bay) doesn’t think North Florida is being treated fairly when it comes to Hurricane Recovery.

“It is my humble opinion, that if Hurricane Michael had dished out the exact same damage to Miami-Dade County, Broward County or Palm Beach the discussion about what we should give our brothers and sisters wouldn’t be a discussion. We would have already had rushed down there, cleaned the area up, situated it to the point where it was better than before and given it every single resource that it could’ve possibly needed," said McGhee

His proposal to fix the panhandle is a three step plan.

The first is to use $24 million dollars from the Sadowski Affordable Housing Trust Fund. A Fund usually swept clean by lawmakers to use for things they’ve deemed more important.

“Let’s simply take $24 million from our rainy day funds, and put it toward our bonding capacity. And let’s at least begin with the conversation of about $240 million to help with the affordable housing crisis," said McGhee.

Secondly he wants to use more than the proposed $20 million from Florida Forever Funds. The fund is used for land conservation and preservation.

“The $20 million is a start. I’m in line with the governor we have to do better. And to start 100 million dollars for florida forever funding should be our starting point," said McGhee.

His last proposal is to help the farmers and crop growers by creating a Disaster Relief Fund that will allow them to take out a zero percent interest loan of $500 thousand, so that they can have their crops in the ground by June.

Blaise Gainey is a State Government Reporter for WFSU News. Blaise hails from Windermere, Florida. He graduated from The School of Journalism at the Florida A&M University. He formerly worked for The Florida Channel, WTXL-TV, and before graduating interned with WFSU News. He is excited to return to the newsroom. In his spare time he enjoys watching sports, Netflix, outdoor activities and anything involving his daughter.