Missouri House committee advises disaster funds oversight

Dec 7, 2011

A Missouri House committee that’s been looking into natural disaster response has released a list of recommendations for lawmakers to take up next year.  One recommendation would give lawmakers more of a say into the use of the state’s Rainy Day fund.

The recommendation calls for setting up a joint House-Senate committee that would have oversight into how Rainy Day funds are spent for disaster costs.  Speaker Pro-tem Shane Schoeller supports the idea.

“Certainly the only time we’ve accessed it was in the floods in the early to mid-90’s, and so at this point I think we’re trying to determine how much local resources are. ”

The committee vote on the recommendations was not unanimous.  Democrat Terry Swinger from the Boot-heel said he’s concerned an oversight committee could hinder the governor’s ability to quickly respond to disasters.  Other recommendations would allow health care professionals licensed in other states to assist in Missouri disaster zones, and would provide tax breaks for businesses damaged by natural disasters.