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Letter: Legislator happy to help OK disaster relief proposal

By District 22B Rep. Rod Hamilton, R-Mountain Lake

On Monday, state lawmakers were called into a special session to allocate disaster relief funds to Minnesota communities that received storm, wind and flood damage in late June. I voted in favor of the proposal.

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There’s nothing political about a tragedy. When Minnesotans are struggling, lawmakers need to deliver disaster assistance quickly and efficiently, and I’m pleased we were able to do exactly that.

As part of the $17 million aid package, 18 Minnesota counties will receive needed assistance as they look to improve damaged infrastructure throughout their communities.

I, along with State Rep. Joe Schomacker (R-Luverne), worked hard in the Minnesota House to make disaster relief funds more accessible for Worthington and southwestern Minnesota, which suffered from last winter’s ice storm.

To date, only $19,000 has been allocated to our area. Our city leaders are being told that even though they have damage, and their communities have met disaster relief parameters, they still aren’t eligible to receive needed funding.

As part of this special session, we were able to address this by cutting through some of the red tape and making southwestern Minnesota eligible for the disaster relief by offering the assistance as grants. This will allow Worthington and others to come back and access the funding and send resources to where they are needed.