Florida Legislators Grow Wary Over Disaster Relief Funding Shortfall

Florida Legislators Grow Wary Over Disaster Relief Funding Shortfall

Mateo Guillamont
Mateo Guillamont
May 21, 2024

Florida legislators are sounding the alarm over the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Disaster Relief Funding’s (DRF) projected shortfall.

DRF is used to provide regions impacted by natural disasters with rapid recovery finances.

FEMA has reported it estimates DRF will run out by August this year.

Last year, FEMA suffered a similar situation, prompting Floridian-led legislation to replenish DRF.

Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), Rick Scott (R-FL), and Representative Jared Moskowitz (D-FL) introduced the Disaster Relief Fund Replenishment Act to secure that the nation can properly respond to major natural disasters.

Despite the legislation, DRF levels are once again precipitously scarce.

According to FEMA’s latest reports, a $1.359 billion DF deficit is expected by August, growing to $6.811 billion by September.

Consequently, Senators Scott and Rubio are once again working with FEMA to ensure DRF levels are replenished before the incoming hurricane season.

Scott and Rubio sent a public letter to FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell to understand the agency’s needs to replenish DRF.

Among the Senators’ inquiries were FEMA’s current DRF levels and if the expected shortfalls could occur before August.

The Senators highlighted DRF’s crucial role for Florida families.

“Families in Florida, and across the nation, must be able to rely on the federal government to do its part as they get back on their feet,” said the Senators.

Last year, FEMA funding accounted for over $1 Billion of Florida’s disaster-relief efforts.

Florida relief applicants submitted over 6,323 projects for federal reimbursement.

Most of the projects involved recovery efforts following Hurricane Ian.

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Mateo Guillamont

Mateo Guillamont

Mateo is a Miami-based political reporter covering national and local politics

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