Letter pushes action on bipartisan bill to standardize and expedite key funding source
Raleigh, NC (STL.News) Wednesday, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper led a bipartisan group of governors in calling on Congress to make critical reforms to long-term federal disaster recovery programs. Governors from Alabama, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, North Carolina, Virginia and Wisconsin sent a letter to Congressional leadership advocating for faster, more efficient help.
As the number of natural disasters lashing our country grows, it is increasingly important to streamline disaster recovery programs to help survivors get the resources they need as quickly as possible, the letter said.
“We need Congress to make important changes to federal disaster recovery programs,” said Governor Cooper. “When a disaster strikes, it doesn’t discriminate between Democrats or Republicans and we need continued bipartisan cooperation to make these common sense recovery changes. The people of North Carolina are a strong and resilient bunch, but we cannot continue to wait on Washington to get necessary aid to disaster survivors.”
The governors called on Congress to pass bipartisan legislation (S. 2301 and H.R. 3702) to formally authorize the Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) program, which would standardize and expedite this funding source.
For example, though Congress appropriated $168 million for North Carolina hazard mitigation after Hurricane Matthew, the Federal Register rules were published just this August, almost a full three years after the storm. And North Carolina is still without the required rules for Hurricane Florence long-term recovery, more than a year after the storm.
The letter also pushes for the creation of a universal program application for disaster survivors to be shared among HUD, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and the Small Business Administration (SBA) to reduce paperwork and minimize the burden placed on disaster survivors.