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Florida Lawmakers Moving Hurricane Michael Relief Bills, But It Still Isn’t Enough


Given the devastation caused by hurricane Michael to Florida last October, there is still plenty to be done, especially as a number of property owners are still waiting for their insurance companies to ‘make them whole’ in terms of their losses. In an effort to provide some relief to affected Florida property owners, on April 16, Florida state lawmakers moved legislation that aims to provide assistance to Floridians that are still recovering from the hurricane. Specifically, Senate Appropriations approved two bills to provide assistance in debris removal, housing, infrastructure, and other necessary repairs.

Funds Set Aside for Hurricane Recovery

One provision would also create a $300 million program of “rainy day” funds for local governments and school boards, allowing them to prioritize funds for housing needs, task forces to oversee recovery efforts, and improving building codes.

If the bills are implemented, total Florida state commitment on Hurricane Michael recovery would come to almost $2 billion. In addition, another bill that was approved on April 16 would take some funds set aside for the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill and allow them to, instead, be used for hurricane recovery needs. The measure would direct the state Department of Economic Opportunity to designate a number of recovery infrastructure project priorities, especially in counties such as Calhoun, Jackson, Liberty, Jefferson, Holmes, Jackson, Gadsden, and Washington.

What About the Florida Power & Light Controversy?

In May, state regulators will decide on the controversial issue involving Florida Power & Light’s costs to restore power after hurricanes; specifically, a number of business groups, as well as the state Office of Public Counsel, have argued that Florida Power & Light did not rely on the proper processes for paying storm costs and failed to follow its mandate of passing savings onto tax paying customers. Under a 2016 base-rate settlement approved by the Public Service Commission, the company was allowed to pass along hurricane restoration costs to customers in the event of a hurricane; however, by the company relying on a reserve to cover hurricane restoration costs, and then using tax savings to replenish the reserve, business groups and the Office of Public Counsel contend that the company failed to actually pass on tax savings to customers, as it was supposed to.

Contact Our Florida Hurricane Insurance Claim Attorneys If You Are In Need Of Recovery Relief

Northwest Florida in particular is still suffering after the category four hurricane, and Congress has been unable to agree on in a package for a number of disasters, including hurricane Michael.

If your home suffered damage, working with a Florida hurricane insurance attorney to file your insurance claim, or appeal any denied or delayed coverage, can make all the difference in ensuring that you get what you need to get back on the road to recovery. Contact our successful Fort Myers hurricane insurance claim denial attorneys at HD Law Partners today to find out how we can help.


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