Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Brad Lager Vice Chair of Disaster Recovery Committee

Thousands of Missouri families, residents and businesses that have been impacted by a number of natural disasters across the state will soon confront less red tape based on the work assigned to the Senate Interim Committee on Natural Disaster Recovery. Senate Leader Robert N. Mayer, R-Dexter, created the committee to examine what actions the Legislature should take in order to best assist Missouri residents and local governments as they recover and rebuild.

“Thousands of Missouri families have been in harm’s way this year because of natural disasters, and for many more, their way of living has been threatened,” Mayer said. “As lawmakers, it is our job to make sure government is helpful, rather than a burden, in the rebuilding process. That is why I created this interim committee to look at all aspects of recovery and the role government should play.”

Missourians across the state have been plagued recently by both natural and man-made disasters:

§ Dec. 31, 2010: Storms and tornadoes struck nine Missouri counties (Carter, Christian, Dent, Franklin, Phelps, Polk, St. Louis, Stone, Webster) and the city of St. Louis killing five people.

§ Jan. 31-Feb. 1, 2011: A blizzard brings record snow to 44 counties, triggering a State of Emergency.

§ April 22: Tornadoes in the St. Louis metropolitan area destroyed or damaged hundreds of homes and led to the temporary closing of the Lambert-St. Louis International Airport.

§ April 19-27: Heavy rainfall leads to levee breaches and flash flooding in the counties of Barry, Bollinger, Butler, Cape Girardeau, Carter, Christian, Douglas, Dunklin, Howell, Iron, Lawrence, Madison, Maries, McDonald, Mississippi, New Madrid, Newton, Oregon, Ozark, Pemiscot, Perry, Phelps, Pike, Polk, Pulaski, Reynolds, Ripley, St. Francois, Scott, Shannon, Stoddard, Stone, Taney, Texas, Washington, Wayne, Webster and Wright. Poplar Bluff’s flood receives national attention while hundreds of homes and businesses are damaged across the state.

§ May 2: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers chose to blow open the levy at Bird’s Point opening the Bird’s Point-New Madrid floodway on the Mississippi River in Southeast Missouri, ultimately flooding more than 100 homes and 130,000 acres of prime farmland, with some still under water today.

§ May 22: A F5 tornado tore through Joplin, killing 154 people and destroying more than 8,000 homes and businesses in Jasper and Newton counties.

§ May 25: A tornado struck Sedalia causing damage to area homes and businesses, and injuring 25 people.

§ June 15–present: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began releasing a record 150,000 cubic feet per second of water from Gavins Point Dam in South Dakota triggering flooding along the Missouri River, expected to remain through summer.

Mayer named Sen. Ron Richard, R-Joplin, as chairman and Sen. Brad Lager, R-Savannah, as vice chairman. Mayer said both senators represent districts that have been and are currently being tragically impacted by a tornado and flooding, respectively. Mayer said Richard and Lager are committed to making sure Missourians do not have to battle government in their efforts to recover and rebuild.




The Senate Interim Committee on Natural Disaster Recovery is comprised of three subcommittees charged with focusing on specific areas of response and recovery. Those subcommittees are: Emergency Response, Fiscal Response and Insurance Response. Each subcommittee will work with the appropriate administrative agencies in order to make preliminary reports to the committee’s chairman before the annual veto session held Sept. 14.

Other senators named to the committee include (listed by subcommittee):

Emergency Response – Sen. Mike Kehoe (chairman), R-Jefferson City; Sen. Will Kraus, R-Lee’s Summit; Sen. Brian Nieves, R-Washington; Senate Majority Floor Leader Tom Dempsey, R-St. Charles; Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal, D-University City; and Sen. Ryan McKenna, D-Crystal City.

Fiscal Response – Sen. Kurt Schaeffer (chairman), R-Columbia; Sen. Brian Munzlinger, R-Williamstown; Sen. Dan Brown, R-Rolla; Sen. Jim Lembke, R-St. Louis; Sen. Tim Green, D-Spanish Lake; and Sen. Kiki Curls, D-Kansas City.

Insurance Response – Sen. Mike Parson (chairman), R-Bolivar; Sen. Scott T. Rupp, R-Wentzville; Sen. Jay Wasson, R-Nixa; Sen. Bob Dixon, R-Springfield; Senate Minority Leader Victor Callahan, D-Independence; and Sen. Jolie Justus, D-Kansas City.

To learn more about the interim committees announced this week, visit www.senate.mo.gov.

No comments: