- Associated Press - Saturday, June 8, 2019

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - Governor Ron DeSantis says nearly half a billion dollars from the federal government will help Florida timber growers recover from the impacts of Hurricane Michael.

The governor met with U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue in Tallahassee on Friday to discuss the struggling industry. Hurricane Michael, which hit last fall, is estimated to have damaged the industry by $1.3 billion.

Perdue says he personally visited the area after the hurricane to see the extensive damage in the Caloosahatchee Forest.

Earlier this week, Congress passed a long delayed $19.1 billion disaster aid bill after months of political infighting.

Perdue says $480 million in the bill will assist farmers, ranchers and producers dealing with extensive damage and promised the federal government would work with the state to administer the aid fairly and efficiently.

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