ST. PAUL – The Minnesota House on Thursday provided final approval for a bill which directs $10 million to the state’s currently empty Disaster Contingency Account.
The state responded with over $11 million in relief to flooding events in Brainerd and Duluth last year, draining the contingency account. State Rep. Lisa Demuth, R-Cold Spring, said it is important to replenish those funds as communities around the state face flooding this spring and with storm season lurking.
“We are fortunate that it appears our state will dodge the widespread flooding previously projected for this spring, but significant damage still could occur in some places,” Demuth said. “I am pleased the Legislature has approved this funding to replenish our contingency account so we are ready to deliver immediate aid, whether it is needed this spring or when the next disaster inevitably occurs. The point of this account is to help us be prepared for whatever disaster may strike and this bill helps us toward that goal.”
Since its creation in 2014, the contingency account held $17.466 million in 2015 and $20.4 million in 2016. The bill House Republicans led to preliminary approval would have transferred $20 million in each of the next two years to the fund, but that total was reduced by a joint House-Senate conference committee prior to final passage. The bill (S.F. 307), which the House approved 127-0, has now been sent to Gov. Tim Walz for enactment.