MIssouri Disaster recovery
5:32 pm
Wed June 22, 2011

Mo. House committee on disaster recovery holds first meeting

A Missouri House committee formed to look into how the state handles natural disasters conducted its first public hearing today in Sedalia, nearly a month after a tornado there destroyed several mobile homes and damaged numerous businesses.

Several local officials and business leaders testified before the House Interim Committee on Disaster Recovery.

Pettis County Emergency Management Director David Clippert said the state's response was good, overall, but he also complained that the Department of Natural Resources expected local officials to enforce state environmental regulations.

"(They did) come down and meet with me, and handed me a stack of regulations and things like that," Clippert told the committee.  "Basically what I told them was, 'This is really not my issue to deal with'...I said, 'I'll be more than happy to put a press release out that they really need to call you.'"

House Speaker Pro-tem Shane Schoeller (R, Willard) chairs the committee.

"Our first initial recommendation is gonna be whether or not we need a special session," Schoeller said.  "That (recommendation) will be (made) July 31st, and then we will continue as a committee through December 31st."

Schoeller says they'll also draft a list of recommendations for potential bills to be considered next year.  The Interim Disaster Recovery committee will also hold hearings next week in Joplin and Sikeston.

Meanwhile, Missouri Senate President Pro-tem Rob Mayer (R, Dexter) has announced the formation of a similar committee that will also hold hearings and gather recommendations.  He's set a deadline of September 1st for those recommendations to be delivered.