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FEMA Extends Deadline for Floyd Victims, Group Rallies Against Hunt's Plan

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RALEIGH — Governor Jim Hunt will convene a special session of theGeneral AssemblyWednesday to address the needs of Hurricane Floyd victims, but not everyone is sold on the plan.

The proposed $830 million package received mixed reviews in front of the legislature building Tuesday.

People gathered to express their concern that using the reserve money now means there will be virtually no money left for social programs when lawmakers return for the short session in May.

They say poor people in eastern North Carolina are being helped at the expense of poor people across the state.

"I just feel like this is not an appropriate package that's going to keep the people in the forefront of this," said Lynice Williams. "We feel, being that the governor is saying cuts will happen, especially around social services, we're very concerned that this sort of pits it one against the other."

Social programs are not the only projects that would go unfunded in May. There are also cuts to state building repairs and construction, including projects atN.C. StateandUNC-Chapel Hill.

Some people at Tuesday's rally suggest a one-time income tax increase would go a long way toward helping flood victims without cutting necessary programs.

Meanwhile, FEMA has given victims of Hurricane Floyd have more time to apply for help.

Tuesday morning, FEMA announced that it will extend the deadline for applications to January 18. The filing period was set to expire Tuesday at 6 p.m.

FEMA says it extended the deadline because new cases are coming in every day. Just last week, more than 1,500 people applied for help.

This is the second time FEMA has extended the deadline. The first delay was caused by Hurricane Irene.


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