Following record-setting snowfall in Minnesota last month, and another major snowfall event to begin March, weather experts are predicting major flooding throughout the state this spring and in Jordan, it is already happening. However, Minnesota’s Disaster Assistance Contingency Account - created to allocate funds to communities impacted by natural disasters and to avoid calling special sessions to authorize the appropriation of these funds - sits empty.
My colleagues in the House have authored a bill to fill this fund with $20 million from the surplus. This money would be available immediately following enactment.
We are already seeing significant flooding in Jordan so this matter becomes even more real and important for our state. As it stands today, the State of Minnesota is not financially prepared to respond to floods that are happening today and will only get worse around the state. It is critical that we put funding in place now so our flood victims can avoid the potential of becoming a pawn in end of session budget negotiations.
The bill would transfer $20 million in Fiscal Year 2019 and another $20 million in Fiscal Year 2020 to Minnesota’s disaster assistance contingency account. Governor Walz has proposed putting $10 million into the account for 2019, but that would be insufficient based on last year’s use and this year’s flood predictions.
The MN FoodShare March Campaign brings hundreds of companies, civic groups, schools, and more together to help keep food shelves stocked statewide. This is a great opportunity for us to help those less fortunate in our own communities. You can find a food shelf near you here: www.foodpantries.org/st/minnesota . I will also be collecting items throughout the month of March at my office in the Capitol. If you plan to come to the Capitol this month, bring in something to donate. Let's do our part.
Please Contact Me
We’re back in session, and we’ll be discussing countless ways to improve our state. I hope you’ll call, email, or visit to share your thoughts, ideas, or questions. As you know, I’m here to serve you and want to help in any way I can. My office is located on the third floor of the State Office Building, Office 349. If you are coming by the Capitol, please stop by my office!
Have a great weekend,