UPDATED: MN Legislature Passes $167M Storm and Flood Relief
Mendota Heights will receive a portion of state funds designated for storm-related expenses.
Update (5 p.m. Friday): The Minnesota Legislature approved a $167 million storm damage aid package in a special session on Friday.
Dakota County is eligible to receive compensation for storm damage incurred this summer.
Rep. Rick Hansen (D-South St. Paul), Rep. Joe Atkins (D-Inver Grove Heights) and Sen. Jim Metzen (D-South St. Paul) voted in favor of the package, which will address storm damage throughout the state.
“I’m very pleased we were able to come together and do the right thing for the people of Minnesota who’ve had their lives turned upside down by this disaster,” said Hansen in a statement. “Duluth and Northern Minnesota certainly deserve most of the attention and funding, but it’s great that we were able to include Dakota County in the relief package as well.”
In Mendota Heights, roughly $100,000 in expenses are attributed to a storm that passed through on June 19. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will pick up 75 percent of the city's costs, while the state will pay the remaining 25 percent match.
Hansen also said the bill provides funding for flood mitigation and soil and water conservation.
“Prevention is cheaper than clean-up,” said Rep. Hansen. “Smart investments in prevention practices can make recovery and clean-up easier for those dealing with disasters, and save us millions in taxpayer dollars later.”
The bill is funded through the state's budget reserve, and trasportation-related funds. Some of the investment will be reimbursed by the federal government, according to Session Daily.
The bill now travels to the desk of Gov. Mark Dayton, who is expected to sign it into law.
Watch live Friday as the state Legislature meets in special session, with disaster relief for flood- and storm-ravaged parts of Minnesota on the agenda.
9 a.m.: House of Representatives Ways and Means committee
10 a.m.: Senate Finance committee
2. p.m.: Full House and Senate in session
Rep. Rick Hansen (D-South St. Paul) has said Dakota County cities affected by storms this summer could receive financial relief through a special session funding package.
That includes Mendota Heights, where roughly $100,000 in expenses are attributed to a storm that passed through on June 19.
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Here is how Session Daily previewed the upcoming special session:
Gov. Mark Dayton has called a special session of the Legislature for 2 p.m. Aug. 24 to consider a $167 million funding package to help residents and communities in parts of Minnesota severely affected by June 14-18 wind storms and flooding.
After weeks of negotiations, the governor and legislative leaders agreed to the package, and also that the special session last no longer than one legislative day, it consider only a Disaster Relief Appropriation bill, and another bill allowing for technical corrections to be made, if needed.
The bill has not yet been drafted, but once agreed to by the governor and leadership, no amendments would be accepted or voted on by the bodies.
“I’m glad this part is over, and the parameters are established,” Dayton said at a press briefing.
Money will come from the budget reserve and the surplus remaining from the previous budget year, he said. Additional funds will be allocated through the Trunk Highway Fund resulting from the cancellation of some proposed projects. Dayton said that any unspent money from the appropriation would be returned to the General Fund.
President Obama declared 15 counties and three tribal lands a major disaster. With such a declaration, the federal government pays 75 percent of costs to help fix public infrastructure and requires a 25 percent match. Approximately $25 million from the bill is targeted for the match.
Some help would be available to individuals who experienced damage to their homes. Dayton said approximately $13 million would be available for low-interest loans and temporary housing costs. However, most of the funding will address infrastructure repairs.
Prior to the special session, the House Ways and Means Committee is scheduled to meet at 9 a.m. Friday in room 200 of the State Office Building to discuss the plan.