In a sharply-worded letter to U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, the head of the Florida Division of Emergency Management calls into question his conclusion that the federal budget cuts to the Florida National Guard could be offset with the swipe of a pen by the governor.
Some background: Gov. Rick Scott suggested in a letter to Nelson that he work with the Obama administration to halt the forced furlough on the technical full-time staff of the Florida National Guard during hurricane season. Nelson responded that the governor could order the guard into action, despite the federally forced furloughs, and get full reimbursement from FEMA.
Now Bryan Koon, head of the Florida Division of Emergency Action, pens a letter to Nelson and suggests that's wishful thinking:
"To summarize, the claim that the federal government will cover the increased costs associated with sequestration would set precedent, and most likely would not occur,'' he wrote, noting that the state only recently received full reimbursment for expenses from Hurricane Andrew -- 21 years ago.
Koon argued that the state must first deploy its national guard troops before it requests a disaster declaration and that would not be likely reimbursed. No word yet back from Nelson.
Here's the text of the letter: Download FDEM Letter to Senator Bill Nelson 6.11.13