Georgia House approves hurricane relief measures

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One down and one to go, members of the Georgia House of Representatives approved two bills Thursday to help fund relief efforts after Hurricane Michael.

Governor Nathan Deal called a special legislative session so that lawmakers could address the immediate needs of people impacted by the storm.

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"It was just a very, very good feeling having been down there and seen the devastation," said House Speaker David Ralston, R- Blue Ridge.

The first bill amends the current fiscal year budget to include $270 million for debris removal and other response efforts.  The second piece of legislation allows for up to $200 million in timber tax credits for landowners who replant trees in the devastated areas, including pecan trees, which were particularly hard hit.

Speaker Ralston acknowledged that this money is just a starting point.

"There is no cotton to gin.  There is no timber to mill.  These are jobs that south Georgians had," said State Rep. Darlene Taylor, R- Thomasville.  "This impact hasn't hit yet."

The Senate must still approve both of the bills before they can go to the governor for his signature. 

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