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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Dean Urdahl (R)

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Final approval provided for bill to replenish disaster account

Thursday, March 28, 2019


ST. PAUL – The Minnesota House on Thursday provided final approval for a bill which directs $10 million to the state’s currently empty Disaster Contingency Account.

The state responded with over $11 million in relief to flooding events in Brainerd and Duluth last year, draining the contingency account. State Rep. Dean Urdahl, R-Acton Township, said it is important to replenish those funds as communities around the state face flooding this spring and with storm season lurking.

“Projections for widespread flooding this spring may not play out to the degree once feared, but some areas are experiencing significant damage and need assistance,” Urdahl said. “The unpredictable nature of weather-related disasters is exactly what makes it so crucial to replenish the funding in this contingency account. This funding we have approved will leave us better prepared to quickly deliver disaster assistance whenever the next urgent matter arises, whether it’s flooding this spring or events in the upcoming storm season.”

Since its creation in 2014, the contingency account held $17.466 million in 2015 and $20.4 million in 2016. The bill House Republicans led to preliminary approval would have transferred $20 million in each of the next two years to the fund, but that total was reduced by a joint House-Senate conference committee prior to final passage. The bill (S.F. 307), which the House approved 127-0, has now been sent to Gov. Tim Walz for enactment.