State offers more flooding aid

State offers more flooding aid

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2013 Mason City flooding

From left, Linda Brych, Les Brych and Don Pitzen work to clean up after a flash flood inundated the Brychs' yard and garage in Stacyville.

Appropriations committees in the House and Senate each unanimously passed a $20.33 million supplemental spending bill to provide aid to flood victims in Iowa — especially along the Missouri and Mississippi rivers — and $333,000 for the Glenwood Resource Center.

Gov. Kim Reynolds proposed the supplemental appropriation. The flood recovery funds will be deposited in an account that will be allocated by the state’s flood mitigation board in consultation with the Iowa Department of Homeland Security.

Lawmakers previously committed $15 million to flood-related efforts, and the state recently received $90 million in federal housing assistance for rehab, buyout and other activities.

The state funds are intended to supplement but not supplant federal financial help in flood-ravaged areas of Iowa.

Sen. Joe Bolkcom, D-Iowa City, the committee’s ranking member, noted the state has received $164 million worth of requests from communities with flood-related challenging, telling the committee members “this is what climate change costs.”

Sen. Tom Shipley, R-Nodaway, said no one should be “under the illusion this is going to fix it all.”

However, officials declined to speculate how much more state aid will be needed to keep recovery projects moving forward.

Legislators likely will face another supplemental request somewhere along this year’s budget process to cover costs this fiscal year for Medicaid and Healthy and Well Kids in Iowa.

The House panel passed the supplemental appropriation and a separate bill providing more transportation funds to school districts.

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