Florida lawmakers are poised to approve money for the state's citrus farmers

by

comment
Gov. Rick Scott on Wednesday urged the Joint Legislative Budget Commission to approve $340 million in federal block grant funding to help the state’s hurricane-ravaged citrus industry.

The money was part of a $2.36 billion disaster-relief package approved by Congress in February. The state Division of Emergency Management will administer the money, leading to the issue going before the Legislative Budget Commission on Thursday.



“I look forward to the Legislature approving these important funds tomorrow, so we can get this money to our growers,” Scott said in a prepared statement Wednesday.

The money will be available to farmers to replace damaged or destroyed trees, cover future economic losses and help pay the costs of crop insurance.



The block grant will be open only to growers who first apply for what is known as the “Wildfires and Hurricanes Indemnity Program.”

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said the program opened for signup Monday.

The Joint Legislative Budget Commission, which includes members of the state House and Senate, has authority to make mid-year budget decisions.

It is set Thursday to take up the block-grant funding and a number of other budget issues, including $19.2 million for the state Division of Elections to distribute for elections security.

Stay on top of Orlando news and views. Sign up for our weekly Headlines newsletter.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at feedback@orlandoweekly.com.

Orlando Weekly works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Central Florida.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Orlando’s true free press free.