MN Special Session Not Likely To Stray From Flood Disaster Aid

Special Session - MN State Capitol
Special Session - MN State Capitol

Special Session - MN State Capitol

The DFL Majority leadership dealt a blow to advocates of an anti-bullying law today when they issued a carefully crafted statement saying legislation beyond the scope of providing disaster relief to flood victims in Minnesota would be unlikely.

The statement from Majority Leader Larry Pogemiller and Speaker of the House Margaret Anderson Kelliher said Monday’s session would be brief and orderly. And no other issue other than the disaster relief would be consider unless it had “very broad bipartisan support in both the Senate and House”.

The anti-bullying bill does not have the support of Republican Representative and Gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer.

Read more: Governor Pawlenty Strikes Out With FEMA

Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty

Press release from Governor Pawlenty’s office:

Governor Pawlenty was notified by FEMA that his request for Individual Assistance for flood victims in southern Minnesota has been denied. As a result, the Governor is requesting a U.S. Small Business Administration Disaster Declaration for the counties of Blue Earth, Dodge, Faribault, Goodhue, Martin, Olmsted, Rice, Steele, Wabasha, Waseca, and Watonwan as a result of flooding that began September 22.

Late last night, President Obama declared a federal disaster for 21 counties in Minnesota. The federal declaration included FEMA’s Public Assistance Grant Program for debris removal, and the repair or replacement of disaster-damaged, publicly owned facilities. It also included federal Hazard Mitigation Grants. Individual Assistance – help with housing needs and necessary expenses for homeowners and renters – was still under review by FEMA as of last night.

If the SBA disaster declaration is granted, SBA would provide low interest disaster loans to homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes and private, non-profit organizations to repair or replace real estate, personal property, machinery & equipment, inventory and business assets that have been damaged or destroyed in the declared disaster area.

Earlier today, Governor Pawlenty announced that a Special Session of the legislature will convene on October 18, 2010 at 1:00 p.m. in order to address the state’s share of flood relief.

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HSEM) will open three disaster recovery centers (DRC) in Steele, Martin, and Wabasha counties, beginning at 1:00 p.m. on Friday. The DRCs allow area residents and businesses impacted by flooding to get answers about their uninsured disaster related losses. Representative from several state agencies will provide resources to assist people in their recovery.

Governor Pawlenty’s letter to the SBA.

Full statement from Majority Leader Larry Pogemiller and Speaker of the House Margaret Anderson Kelliher

Members of the House and Senate have worked tirelessly to put together a comprehensive flood and tornado disaster relief bill designed to bring needed help to the citizens of 34 counties in Minnesota. With the federal disaster declaration now in hand, we can process the bill in an orderly and brief special session next Monday.

Although there are many important issues that confront our state, we would anticipate that unless an issue has very broad bipartisan support in both the Senate and House, it is unlikely it would be considered on Monday.

We anticipate the flood and tornado disaster relief will have such broad support it will be passed on Monday.

Michael McIntee

Michael McIntee is a former network TV news executive with more than 30 years of broadcasting experience. He began his broadcasting career at the University of Minnesota's student radio station. He is an expert producer, writer, video editor who has a fondness for new technology but denies that he is a geek. More about Michael McIntee »

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