Metro-East News

Bill would appropriate $12 million for state agency’s flood response

State Sen. Bill Haine and Rep. Jay Hoffman are supporting legislation that would move $12 million from the Disaster Response and Recovery Fund to the Illinois Emergency Management Agency for 2016, to aid with disaster recovery in Illinois.

“Recently communities throughout Illinois have seen a great deal of destruction, and the floods that have occurred due to heavy rainfall have devastated areas throughout the metro-east,” said Haine, an Alton Democrat. “When this sort of thing happens, businesses close and people are put out of their homes. I want to be sure our communities have the resources they need to quickly address issues related to natural disasters.”

According to media reports, Gov. Bruce Rauner has also acknowledged that Illinois is lacking in sufficient funds to help support natural disasters.

“I am thankful the governor took action by declaring communities throughout the metro-east as disaster areas,” said Hoffman, a Swansea Democrat. “However, I want to take this a step further to be sure we can prevent similar destruction from happening in the future, and make sure our first responders, policemen and firefighters are equipped to handle these situations. Public safety is the priority here.”

The legislation, House Bill 4390, was filed on Tuesday in response to major flooding in areas such as Alton, Granite City and Pontoon Beach.

The bill’s synopsis states that it “appropriates $12 million from the Disaster Response and Recovery Fund to the Illinois Emergency Management Agency for its fiscal 2016 expenses associated with disaster response and recovery.”

The bill does not appropriate money for cash payments to flood victims.

Cosponsors include Rep. Jerry Costello II, D-Smithton, and Rep. Dan Beiser, D-Alton.

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