Sen. Yudichak Praises Federal Flood Aid, Says State Must Step Up
Sen. Yudichak (D-Luzerne) Tuesday praised the federal government for the $40.6 million in emergency relief to repair damage caused by Hurricane Irene in August and Tropical Storm Lee in September. The funds will go towards fixing damaged roadways and bridges.
"As these communities continue to pick up the pieces and recover from the devastating storms of last year, this much needed emergency relief is a welcome boost to these efforts," Sen. Yudichak said. "The roads and bridges that families and businesses in Northeastern Pennsylvania use daily are seriously in need of repair. I am pleased that the Obama Administration is committed to repairing our transportation infrastructure."
Sen. Yudichak added that while he is pleased that the federal government has stepped up to the plate and provided critical flood relief, it is time for the state to do the same and pass a package of flood relief bills introduced last year by a bipartisan coalition of senators. The bills were passed in the Senate in November and now languish in committee in the House.
"It is time for the House to follow the lead of Washington and pass this important legislation, so that families and businesses can finally rebuild and recover," Sen. Yudichak said. "These people have had to soldier through the holiday season with their lives and livelihood still in shambles. Now they are facing the harsh winter months and still no state relief in sight."
The flood relief package of legislation that unanimously passed the Senate and was sent to the House for concurrence would:
-- Senate Bill 1264 (Baker-R-Luzerne) enacting the Flood Relief Act for September 2011 making an appropriation of $20 million for individual assistance;
-- Senate Bill 1266 (Gordner-R-Columbia) authorizing the incurring of $150 million in debt to fund flood damage recovery projects;
-- Senate Bill 1267 (Blake-D-Lackawanna) authorizing real estate tax abatement as a result of Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee;
-- Senate Bill 1268 (Gordner-R-Columbia) authorizing the incurring of debt to repair flood damaged highways;
-- Senate Bill 1269 (Yaw-R-Bradford) adoption of capital projects to repair or replace flood damaged highways and bridges;
-- Senate Bill 1271 (Yudichak-D-Luzerne) an itemized list of flood damaged highway and bridge repair projects;
-- Senate Bill 1297 (Baker-R-Luzerne) establishing a $10 million Small Business Flood Relief Program of 2011; and
-- Senate Bill 1323 (Yaw-R-Bradford) establishing the Agriculture Disaster Recovery Program to provide disaster assistance to agricultural operations.
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