$299M Hurricane Florence relief bill passes General Assembly

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Thursday, November 29, 2018
Florence relief bill passes
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The bill goes to Gov. Roy Cooper for a signature.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- A bill approving a $299 million Hurricane Florence relief package passed the North Carolina General Assembly on Thursday.

The bill unanimously passed the House, sending it to Gov. Roy Cooper's desk for final approval.

"Once again, we had a historic natural disaster for this state, we have had a historic response in this state," said senior House Appropriations Chairman Nelson Dollar, R-Wake.

The bill includes some of the following:

  • $25 million for school repairs
  • $1.5 million to restore school cafeterias
  • $240 million to help about 10,000 affected farmers (equals about $24,000 per farmer).
  • $5 million for loans and grants to affected small businesses
  • $10 million for fishing assistance, including shellfish and commercial fisheries
  • $250,000 to the Department of Environmental Quality
  • $50,000 to Wildlife Resources Commission to conduct a study to figure out what to do with the scores of abandoned boats stranded in waterways.
  • $18.5 million to DEQ for coastal storm damage mitigation

The aid will be disbursed through the Hurricane Florence Agricultural Disaster Program of 2018 that was established by the General Assembly in October and developed by the state Department of Agriculture prior to the direction of state dollars to the fund.

In the Senate on Wednesday, Republican Sen. Harry Brown argued in favor of the bill saying, "This money won't save all, but we hope it will help."