After being called into special session by Governor Pat McCrory, the North Carolina General Assembly unanimously passed into law this afternoon The Disaster Recovery Act of 2016. The legislation targets over $200 million to counties most affected by the recent floods in the east and wildfires in the west.
Representative Bell was a primary sponsor of the bill.
Thanks to prudent budgeting that has resulted in substantial budget surpluses and a $1.6 billion Rainy Day Fund, the disaster relief monies were able to be appropriated without borrowing money or raising taxes.
The Disaster Recovery Act of 2016 appropriates $200 million for wildfire recovery, hurricane and tropical storm relief efforts across North Carolina:
- $37,950,000 to the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services for disaster-related repairs, debris removal, forest and stream restoration.
- $20,000,000 to the Housing Trust Fund to directly benefit persons and families affected by the disasters.
- $10,000,000 to the Department of Commerce for local government grants to construct, repair or replace infrastructure of utilities including water, sewer services and sidewalks.
- $10,000,000 to the Department of Environmental Quality for wastewater and solid waste cleanup, dam safety, emergency permitting and repair of drinking water systems.
- $9,000,000 to the Division of Emergency Management to provide additional support meeting short-term housing needs.
- $1,000,000 to the Department of Insurance for grants to volunteer fire departments to repair disaster-related damage not covered by federal assistance or insurance proceeds.
“The Disaster Recovery Act assists counties that bore the biggest impact of recent disasters, but the need to save emergency relief funding is an important issue statewide,” said Speaker of the House Tim Moore. “Our state government must continue to save, plan and prepare for future emergencies to ensure we can protect and provide security to citizens in times of critical need.”