By: Mariel Carbone | WCTV Eyewitness News
March 7, 2019
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) — Senator Bill Montford is proposing a bill that would bring more relief to communities affected by Hurricane Michael.
The storm is expected to cost nearly $2 billion. And, though it’s been five months since the hurricane, many communities are still struggling to pick up the pieces.
Montford, along with Senators George Gainer and Doug Broxson, are reminding citizens in northwest Florida that they have not been forgotten.
"There is love for north Florida like I've never seen before,” said Montford. "(We) have made a commitment to make sure our wonderful forgotten coast is never forgotten again."
The bill, officially titled Senate Bill 1610, is a comprehensive bill addressing disaster relief for the area. It would create a loan program to cover rebuilding efforts and speed up the recovery process, as well as adjust the AG Economic Development Program to include the timber industry, making it eligible for emergency loans.
It also addresses a process for affordable housing and directs funds to help repair infrastructure for schools. Under the legislation, a task force would be created to study response and recovery efforts from the federal level down to the local level, and make recommendations on how to rebuild more efficiently.
The three senators said they are confident this bill will gain support.
"That day, October the 10, all of our lives changed across northwest Florida,” said Senator Gainer. "The Florida senate is behind North Florida and its recovery."