Kirk, Durbin push for Fairness in Federal Disaster Declarations Act
U.S. Sens. Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) introduced The Fairness in Federal Disaster Declarations Act on Thursday, legislation that aims to bring fairness and consistency to the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) disaster declaration process.
“Communities like Washington, Illinois, that have been devastated by natural disasters should not be ineligible for aid just because FEMA’s methodology is outdated,” Kirk said. “Having seen firsthand the damage that the 2013 tornadoes caused this community, I have continued to urge FEMA to reevaluate their methodology for determining aid, and will continue to work with my bipartisan colleagues to ensure that families are not stuck without help when it is most needed."
The bill would also require FEMA to take into consideration local economic factors, such as the assessable tax base, the median income compared to the state and the poverty rate compared to the state, to ensure communities affected by disaster are not denied public assistance based on a per capita indicator.
“Changes to FEMA’s disaster declaration process can’t come soon enough for communities across Illinois, and I am glad members of the Illinois delegation have joined together in support of this legislation,” Durbin added.