Tuesday Meeting To Start Writing Disaster-relief Bill

Minnesota legislators and Gov. Mark Dayton staffers plan to meet Tuesday as they begin writing a bill to provide disaster relief.

The 11:30 a.m. meeting in the state Capitol will be the first of what could be several meetings leading up to a late-August special legislative session. Leading the meeting will be House Ways and Means Chairwoman Mary Liz Holberg, R-Lakeville, and Senate Finance Chairwoman Claire Robling, R-Jordan.

The group is to draft a bill to fund 25 percent of local government costs incurred after June floods and other storms. The federal government named 13 counties disaster areas, which brought with it a promise to pay 75 percent of local government costs.

Some lawmakers also want to look into whether the state can help individuals affected by the floods. The federal government rejected Minnesota’s request for individual aid, but Gov. Mark Dayton on Wednesday appealed that decision.

There also is talk about providing help for northern Minnesota counties affected by wind storms a month ago.

While the worst damage from June floods came in northeastern Minnesota, counties in other areas of the state also were affected and will receive federal clean-up aid.