Victims of Hurricane Florence can’t wait until Oct. 9, legislative leaders say.

In a letter sent Friday, Sept. 21, Senate leader Phil Berger, R-Rockingham, and House Speaker Tim Moore, R-Cleveland, asked Gov. Roy Cooper to move up the special session he called for early October by nearly two weeks, to Sept. 28.

After consulting with local educators and members of the congressional delegation, the legislative leaders said lawmakers should act next week. While they said some money is available to make “an immediate down payment” as early as next week for initial relief, lawmakers must approve any spending from the more than $2 billion in state reserve accounts. Also, the leaders said they need to direct any aid from the federal government, which President Trump, in a Thursday visit to the region, would come soon.

Beyond that, the leaders said teachers in the storm zone whose schools have been closed may not get paid for the days they weren’t able to work. Bringing the legislature in session early would allow lawmakers to make sure teachers are compensated for lost time.

At press time, Cooper had not responded to the request.