Gov. Ron DeSantis signed bills passed during the recent special session, including up to $10K for owners to harden homes and more aid for Hurricane Idalia victims.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – On Monday, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed four bills passed during a special legislative session last week, including measures to fund the My Safe Florida Home Program (MSFH), provide hurricane relief, bolster security at Jewish day schools and expand school vouchers.
The special session came amid the backdrop of the war between Israel and Hamas, with state lawmakers taking steps to show their support for Israel.
Two other bills passed during the session carried a total price tag of $462 million. They include a wide-ranging package (HB 1C) that will provide additional assistance in areas hit by Hurricane Idalia and provide $176.17 million to the My Safe Florida Home program, which is designed to help people shore up their homes to better withstand hurricanes.
The My Safe Florida Home program includes matching grants up to $10,000 to help homeowners pay for such things as reinforcing roof-to-wall connections, upgrading roof coverings and upgrading doors and windows. The money approved during the special session will cover more than 17,600 already-submitted applications to the program.
The bill also includes money to help people and communities affected by Idalia, which made landfall Aug. 30 in Taylor County before plowing across other areas of North Florida. The bill includes $75 million for a program that provides low-interest or interest-free loans to agriculture and aquaculture producers, $37.5 million to help timber owners and $50 million for hurricane repair and recovery projects in counties that received Federal Emergency Management disaster designations.
In addition, the bill provides $25 million to the Florida Housing Finance Corp. for what is known as the Hurricane Housing Recovery Program in the designated counties. It offers tax breaks on agricultural equipment that couldn’t be used in the two months after the storm; on the purchase of fencing and building materials purchased to make repairs after Idalia; and on fuel used for agricultural shipments and debris removal.
The Florida Senate website showed Monday that DeSantis had signed the bills, which took effect immediately. State Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis, whose office oversees the My Safe Florida Home program, issued a statement praising the additional funding for the program.
“I look forward to working with the governor and Legislature next session to expand the program and provide more home-hardening funding so more Florida homeowners can benefit,” Patronis said in the statement.
During the special session, lawmakers passed bipartisan resolutions to show support for Israel and approved the bill targeting Iran.
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