FEMA Study Bill Introduced

On March 19th, Rep. Lou Barletta (R-PA) introduced HR 1471, a reauthorization measure for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).  Although a copy of the text is not yet available through THOMAS, ASDWA has been able to glean some details that should be of interest to state drinking water programs.  Chief among them would be language to establish reimbursement rates for states and local government administrative costs when supporting disaster recovery projects.
As part of the reauthorizing language, the measure also calls for a comprehensive study of trends in disaster assistance provided through FEMA.  The anticipated year-long effort would be the first comprehensive look at disaster spending — from FEMA as well as from all Federal sources – in more than 20 years.  The study goal would be to identify the “fundamental principles that should drive national disaster assistance decision making, including the appropriate roles for each level of government, the private sector and individuals.”
The bill has been referred to the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee where Congressman Barletta chairs the Economic Development, Public Buildings, and Emergency Management Subcommittee.  The bill enjoys significant bipartisan support as well.  Barletta was joined by his Subcommittee counterpart, Rep. Andre Carson (D-IN) and full Committee Chair Bud Shuster (R-PA) and Ranking Member Peter DeFazio (D-OR) as bill cosponsors.
As soon as text becomes publicly available, ASDWA will post more detailed information on our website www.asdwa.org under the ‘Legislative’ tab.