Rubio, Nelson support disaster aid provision in budget

By Holly Gregory, Reporter
Last Updated: Wednesday, February 07, 2018, 5:34 PM EST

Florida lawmakers Sen. Marco Rubio and Sen. Bill Nelson are backing a disaster aid provision that is part of a larger budget deal announced Wednesday.

  • Florida, Puerto Rico still recovering from 2017 hurricanes
  • Disaster funding would help schools, citrus growers
  • Deal faces challenge in House

Here is a partial rundown of the relief package as provided by Nelson's office:

- $2.36 billion to provide disaster assistance for Florida citrus growers and other farmers.

- $2.7 billion for schools impacted by recent disasters, including schools in Florida dealing with an influx of 12-thousand new students from Puerto Rico.

- $15 billion for Army Corp projects including the Herbert Hoover Dike that protects thousands of Floridians who live around Lake Okeechobee from catastrophic flooding.

- $2 billion to help Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Island rebuild and improve their electric grids.

"The people of Florida and Puerto Rico are still struggling to recover from last year's devastating storms," said Sen. Nelson. "The disaster funding in this bill will not only help provide Florida's schools and citrus growers the help they need, it will also help Puerto Rico rebuild its power grid and avoid an even greater healthcare crisis."

Nelson and Rubio are expected to vote for the deal that is part of a two-year spending plan announced by the Senate Wednesday.

"Virtually all of our spending priorities for Puerto Rico are included in this deal, including two years of Medicaid and additional money for infrastructure, hospitals, community health centers and grid work repair," said Rubio.

The deal faces a bigger challenge in the House.