There’s a hearing in the Minnesota House this afternoon (1245pm) on Governor Tim Walz’s request for an additional 30 million dollars in the state’s Disaster Assistance Fund, prompted by increased frequency of storms and flooding. The governor can allocate that money without the legislature’s approval, something Winona Democrat Gene Pelowski argues is necessary. “You can’t wait weeks or days when we have a disaster. We have to get the aid to that area and to those people as quickly as possible,” he says. The assistance goes to local governments for cleanup costs and repairing infrastructure.
Pelowski says the fund had 10 million dollars when first established in 2014, but that figure has gradually grown because of an increasing number of disasters. He says that situation will require “a much larger number in the future.”
Senate Finance Committee Chair, Vernon Center Republican Julie Rosen says adding more funding to the Disaster Contingency Account is one of her top priorities.