Friday, October 18, 2019
Following passage and signing into law of the Additional Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Act, 2019, Congress has now provided the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) with $35 million in investigation funding and $740 million in construction funding for flood and storm damage reduction projects in states and territories impacted by 2018 hurricanes and typhoons, including Florida.
On Tuesday, U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis, R-Fla. and U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist, D-Fla., showcased the “Shelter Act” which, they insist, will “help Americans protect their homes or businesses against hurricanes, tornados, floods, drought, and wildfires” by creating a “first-of-its-kind disaster mitigation tax credit for families and business owners in disaster-prone areas.”
Founded by then U.S. Rep. Carlos Curbelo, R-Fla., and U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Fla., back in 2016, the Climate Solutions Caucus’ mission is “to educate members on economically-viable options to reduce climate risk and to explore bipartisan policy options that address the impacts, causes, and challenges of our changing climate.”
On Wednesday, the House passed Buchanan’s proposal having the National Institutes of Health (NIH) set aside $6.25 million to study red tide and toxic algae which plagued Florida last year. The proposal now heads to the U.S. Senate as part of a funding bill.
“The bill establishes the Florida Red Tide Mitigation and Technology Development Initiative as a partnership between the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s (FWC) Fish and Wildlife Research Institute and Mote Marine Laboratory to develop technologies and approaches to control and mitigate red tide and its impacts,” the governor’s office noted.
At an event in Marathon, DeSantis announced that the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity’s (DEO) Rebuild Florida program will send $140 million to be administered by the Florida Housing Finance Corporation (Florida Housing) to create “new affordable workforce housing to help address housing shortages worsened by Hurricane Irma.”
On Monday, Mast showcased the “Prioritizing Revised Operations To Eliminate Cyanobacteria Toxins in Florida (“PROTECT Florida”) Act which “requires the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to prioritize public health, including prevention of toxic cyanobacteria, the integrity of the Herbert Hoover Dike, Everglades restoration and tribal water quality laws.”
At the end of last week, U.S. Rep. Francis Rooney, R-Fla., unveiled a bill to ensure federal monitoring of Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) continues even in the event of a federal shutdown.
“Upon taking office, Governor DeSantis directed FDEM to disburse hurricane recovery funding as quickly as possible, including providing field staff to assist citrus growers in navigating the grant process,” the governor’s office noted.
Hurricane Irma was a Category 5 storm which hit the Sunshine State back in September 2017. At least 90 Americans--including 84 in Florida--were killed in the storm which caused more than $50 billion in damages.