Leg. discusses disaster relief

Ricardo Romero

State legislators met Wednesday to discuss a disaster relief bill that would provide aid for areas in Minnesota affected by severe summer storms.

The legislation would authorize the state, in concert with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), to issue $18 million for 18 counties throughout the state.

Kris Eide, director of Minnesota's Homeland Security and Emergency Management department, said Wednesday the legislature will be asked to authorize $4.5 million out of last year's special session disaster relief fund to pay for the costs. 

According to the Star Tribune, lawmakers were frustrated with the plan's strategy.

Rep. Alice Hausman, DFL-St. Paul, said certain counties, like Ramsey County, face a heavy financial burden from storm costs, but it will not be eligible for the aid.

"There's nothing fair about disaster relief," she said.

The one-day special session to officially discuss the legislation is scheduled for Sept. 9.