DeSantis Doles out Millions to Take on Hurricanes and Financially Assist Floridians

DeSantis Doles out Millions to Take on Hurricanes and Financially Assist Floridians

DeSantis approved two hurricane protection bills and announced millions more for beach renourishment efforts

Liv Caputo
Liv Caputo
April 24, 2024

REDINGTON SHORES, FL—Governor Ron DeSantis announced $50 million toward beach renourishment and signed two bills into law Wednesday morning, appropriating millions of dollars to fortify Florida homes and condos against hurricane damage.

Since 2000, 79 tropical or subtropical cyclones have hit Florida's coastlines, resulting in over $236 billion in damage and causing 145 direct fatalities and at least 92 indirect ones.

Because of this, the State Legislature resurrected in 2022 the My Safe Florida Home Program, a 17-year-old grant project matching up to $10,000 of the costs that homeowners pay for fortification efforts to protect against hurricanes.

Initially, $215 million was appropriated to fund the program, though its high demand leaves many Floridians stuck on its waitlist.

Therefore, DeSantis announced at a Wednesday press conference that he would sign SB 7028 to pump an additional $200 million into the My Safe Florida Home Program.

"This will help folks on the waiting list...and will prioritize seniors," he said, explaining that most senior citizens have a fixed income and older, more vulnerable homes. "Since 2022, the state has invested over $600 million in My Safe Florida Home."

However, because the program only applies to homeowners, and not to the 2 million citizens who live in condos, he signed HB 1029 which creates the My Safe Florida Condominium Pilot Program, a similar project to My Safe Florida Home with a $30 million state allocation.

At the same Redington Shores press conference, he also announced that he would approve a budget item funding beach renourishment projects.

Florida beaches not only attract almost 19 million tourists per year but also provide the first line of defense against hurricanes. Sadly, the state's Department of Environmental Protection has 426 of Florida's 825 miles of sandy beaches listed as "critically eroded", endangering both natural habitats and coastal Floridians.

DeSantis and the Legislature initially awarded $200 million to beach renourishment efforts in the past, and Wednesday he announced that he would approve a $50 million budget item to continue these efforts.

"This brings our total state investment in these efforts to $550 million since 2019," the Governor said.

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Liv Caputo

Liv Caputo

Livia Caputo is a senior at Florida State University, working on a major in Criminology, and a triple minor in Psychology, Communications, and German. She has been working on a journalism career for the past year, and hopes to become a successful reporter after graduation. Her work has been cited in Fox News, the New York Post, and the Daily Mail

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