Illinois Delegation Urges FEMA to Make Disaster Deductible Concept Fair to States and Localities
U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.), along with the Illinois congressional delegation, sent a letter to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) expressing concern over the impact FEMA’s Public Assistance deductible concept will have on states’ ability to receive federal assistance after a disaster occurs. FEMA’s Public Assistance deductible would require states to meet a predetermined, annual expenditure of state emergency management funds or disaster recovery costs to qualify for FEMA Public Assistance in the event of a natural disaster, which has the potential to delay federal disaster assistance and shift additional costs to state and local governments.
“While FEMA’s Public Assistance declaration review process is in need of reform, it is important to get it right,” members wrote. “We strongly encourage you to consider the impact your deductible concept will have on states’ ability to receive federal assistance at a time when it is needed most. We urge you to follow federal law, which ensures states can rely on the federal government for help to recover after a disaster occurs.”
A copy of the letter can be found here.
Davis continues to push for fairness for Illinois communities within the federal disaster assistance process. H.R. 1665, Disaster Declaration Improvement Act, his bill with U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-Ill.), passed the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee last month and is expected to be considered by the full House soon. H.R. 1665 requires FEMA to give greater weight and consideration to the localized impact of a disaster when determining the need for federal assistance. Additionally, this bill requires FEMA to take into consideration the cumulative impact of multiple storms in an area.
H.R. 1665 is similar to the bill passed by the House last Congress but was taken up by the Senate.