SPRINGFIELD, IL (KFVS) - Illinois lawmakers have proposed legislation for federal help to those hit hard by recent storm disasters in the state.
Governor Pat Quinn is behind the Fairness in Federal Disaster Declarations Act proposal introduced by Senator Dick Durbin and Senator Mark Kirk.
According to Sen. Durbin, the proposal would require FEMA to consider heavily each of the factors measured when determining which communities are eligible for two types of federal assistance, both individual and public.
The legislation would also require FEMA to consider local economic factors such as the local assessable tax base, the median income as it compares to that of the state, and the poverty rate as it compares to that of the state, according to Durbin.
"I salute and support the Fairness in Federal Disaster Declarations Act proposed by Senator Dick Durbin and Senator Mark Kirk. After deadly tornadoes hit Harrisburg and Ridgway, we saw firsthand how communities devastated by a disaster can lose out on critical assistance simply because they are part of a populous state. The Durbin-Kirk proposal ensures that FEMA considers the economic impact of the disaster on people, businesses and the impacted areas.
Quinn urges that the proposal would help those who live in small communities in the state.
"This proposal will level the playing field for communities throughout Illinois and across America so that when a disaster strikes, their applications for federal help will receive more comprehensive and fair consideration. Small communities in big states that have suffered tremendous losses from a disaster would no longer be penalized.
"I encourage Congress to approve the Fairness in Federal Disaster Declarations Act to improve FEMA's current process."