Florida’s U.S. Sens. Marco Rubio and Bill Nelson are asking President Donald Trump to immediately sign off on a plan to increase the federal share of costs for cleanup from Hurricane Irma.

The senators wrote Trump late Wednesday thanking him for agreeing to offer a 90 percent federal share for costs incurred mainly by cities, counties and other local governments during the first 30 days of cleanup of the wreckage left behind by Hurricane Irma after it ravaged most of the state on Sept. 10-11.

But the need is longer and deeper, the two senators argued. They asked for a 100 percent federal match, and a longer period covered, to cover repairs to schools, hospitals, businesses, homes and other damaged infrastructure.

“It is our understanding that the state of Florida will incur the per capita impact necessary in order for a federal cost share increase to be enacted for the eligible cost of both permanent and emergency work through the remainder of the recovery process,” their jointly-written and signed letter states. “It is also our understanding that the Federal Emergency Management Agency has informed the Florida Division of Emergency Management that the state is on track to receive an increased cost share designation for the entire recovery process. Nevertheless, immediately approving an increased federal cost-share would provide much needed financial clarity to Florida communities.

“Finally, we would like to reiterate our support for increasing the federal cost share to 100 percent, which we originally conveyed in our September 12th letter to your administration,” Nelson and Rubio continued. “As work continues across the state to repair damages to homes, schools, businesses and other communal spaces, we ask for your continued support in providing the financial assistance necessary to repair and restore our state.”

 

About The Author

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at scott@floridapolitics.com.

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