Illinois' two U.S. Senators are proposing a Fairness in Federal Disaster Declarations Act. The measure is designed to help small communities in big states qualify for federal assistance after natural disaster. It would require the Federal Emergency Management Agency to take local economic factors into consideration when deciding whether or not to provide aid.
The proposal comes on the heels of a federal rejection to help with recovery funding in Harrisburg. A Leap Day tornado ripped through the town but calculated damages fell shy of what's required to receive federal assistance. Governor Quinn is saluting Senators Dick Durbin and Mark Kirk for introducing the Act. He says Illinoisans have seen firsthand how a community can lose out on critical aid simply because they're part of a populous state. Quinn says the proposal will ensure that FEMA considers the economic impact of the specific area hit, plus its people and its businesses.