St. Paul, MN - Today, the Minnesota House of Representatives approved a $30 million investment in Minnesota’s Disaster Assistance Contingency Account. The provision, authored by State Representative Gene Pelowski (DFL - Winona) was part of the larger Public Safety, Judiciary, and Civil Law Budget.
“The Disaster Assistance Contingency Account is a crucial tool for ensuring communities can have timely assistance in the event of a natural disaster that takes place outside of the regular legislative session,” said Rep. Pelowski. “Many towns in Minnesota are unable to address the damage of a devastating flood, fire, or storm on their own, which is why adequately funding this account before the regular session ends is imperative. Despite their recent frequency, there is nothing special about a special session, and it is the Disaster Assistance Contingency Account that can provide assistance in a more efficient manner.”
The Disaster Assistance Contingency Account, signed into law in 2014, speeds up the recovery process for communities burdened with damages to public property and infrastructure like roads, utilities, and public buildings. Prior to the passage of the law, the Legislature was required to convene each time a disaster was declared in order to appropriate state money toward community recovery efforts, often in a special session.
A video recording of the floor debate is available on the House Public Information YouTube page.