North Carolina House begins to advance $257M hurricane aid bill

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Storm damage from Hurricane Florence in North Carolina. (Photo: Ed Clemente / MGN)

RALEIGH, NC (AP) — North Carolina legislators are aiming to locate more funds to help with the recovery from three recent hurricanes, with an emphasis on lessening damages in future storms.

The House budget-writing committee voted on Wednesday for a bill that would allocate $257 million from state coffers for disaster recovery. Nearly $110 million would pay state government’s portion for matching federal funds to respond to hurricanes Matthew, Florence and Dorian.

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Tens of millions of dollars would help state and local governments with long-term planning and “resiliency” efforts. The bill now heading to the House floor also would carry out another committee’s recommendations for a state program criticized for slow distribution of federal housing funds.

A bill sponsor says aid details likely won’t be worked out with the Senate until next month.