Mo. state senators meet today to examine natural disasters
A special Senate committee that was created this summer is scheduled to meet today in the state Capitol building. So far in 2011, Missouri has been hit by a historic blizzard, powerful tornadoes in Joplin, St. Louis and Sedalia and heavy flooding along the Missouri and Mississippi rivers. The Senate committee was created to recommend ways the Legislature can help with local recovery efforts.
As Democratic Governor Jay Nixon prepares to call lawmakers back to Jefferson City for a special session, the top Republican in the Missouri Senate wants disaster relief to be one of the issues included in the call.
Mo. Gov. Jay Nixon is asking President Barack Obama to issue a major disaster declaration for 23 northern counties hit by severe storms and flooding along the Missouri River. He announced the request Monday.
The disaster request would cover events since June 1. If approved, it would allow government aid to flow to families and public agencies that have suffered losses. The counties included in the request are:
Missouri is getting more money to put people who have lost their jobs to natural disasters back to work helping with the cleanup.
The Disaster Recovery Jobs Program was created last month with funding from the federal Workforce Investment Act. The state used an initial allocation of nearly $6 million to hire 400 people for recovery work from the May 22 tornado in Joplin.
Gov. Jay Nixon said Thursday that Missouri now has an additional $13.9 million for the program.
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.
A newly created House committee will examine whether a special legislative session is needed to assist in the recovery from a deadly tornado in Joplin and flooding in southeastern Missouri.
The House Interim Committee on Disaster Recovery was to make its recommendation by the end of July. The committee also was tasked with examining long-term recovery strategies and ways for Missouri to be better prepared for future natural disasters.
A report with those findings was to be submitted by the end of the year.
Missouri Governor Jay Nixon talks with reporters following a tour of tornado damage in Sunset Hills, Missouri on Jan. 1, 2011. Nixon has asked the president to issue a disaster declaration for the area, along with others in Missouri. (UPI/Bill Greenblatt)