Gov. Rick Scott announced Wednesday state agencies were setting aside millions of dollars for the Orlando area in the wake of Sunday’s mass shooting at a gay nightclub there.
Also Wednesday, his office revealed Scott and President Obama finally had a one-on-one phone conversation in advance of the president’s scheduled Thursday visit to the area.
In a press release, Scott’s office said the Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) “set aside more than $520,000 in residual Justice Assistance Grant funds for the City of Orlando and Orange County to be used for overtime pay for law enforcement and equipment associated with the terror attack.”
The department also asked for “$2 million in emergency funds from the Department of Justice to help with similar costs.”
The Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) also is “directing $500,000 in funding to local providers for crisis counseling services which include grief counseling, trauma support, and emotional support for victims and their families and loved ones,” the release said.
“We will continue to do all we can to help Orlando heal, and our state agencies are doing everything possible to provide assistance to those impacted by this horrific tragedy,” Scott said.
At around 3 p.m., his press office released a revised daily schedule for the governor, who is still in Orlando, showing he and Obama spoke on the phone at 12:40 p.m.
Scott had previously complained the president had not reached out to him directly after the shooting, which claimed 49 lives.
Spokeswoman Jackie Schutz said the president “expressed his condolences” in the roughly five-minute call.
Scott also followed up on his request for a federal emergency declaration and was told the Obama administration is “still reviewing it,” she said. Such a declaration would authorize up to $5 million in aid from federal agencies.