Georgia Governor Nathan Deal said that up to $270 million in state funding is required to address community needs and cleanup efforts as the state continues to rebuild after Hurricane Michael.
Previous estimates put hurricane relief dollars at $100 million – but during a news conference on Thursday, Deal said the need is even higher.
“We will be reviewing on a financial basis what the magnitude of that special session should address. I know the figure of $100 million had been sort of a ballpark figure. It is determined now that is far too small, that the magnitude of the reforms we are going to ask in the budgetary process will be in the neighborhood of $270 million,” Deal said.
The special session will focus on what the state’s portion of initial cleanup costs should be that will be supplemented with federal funding.
This includes local government costs, including debris removal, street repair and overtime pay for staffers who worked long hours before and after the hurricane made landfall in Georgia.
“I will be working with the leadership of both bodies and letting them take a close look at the details of what that call is going to look like and then that information will be disseminated to members of the general assembly as we approach the beginning of the special session next Tuesday,” Deal said.
Deal’s remarks about hurricane relief came during a joint press conference with Brian Kemp – the former Secretary of State and Republican candidate for governor.
The two men were discussing “next steps” as Deal announced Kemp as governor-elect. Kemp’s Democratic opponent, Stacey Abrams, has not conceded the race – stating there are many more provisional ballots to be counted.
A runoff between the two candidates has not been ruled out.
Deal made the announcement regarding the special session two weeks before the midterm election. It is expected to last at least five days.