|Senate Counsel & Research||State of Minnesota|
|S.F. No. 2607 - State Framework for Natural Disaster Recovery Assistance|
|Author:||Senator Ann Rest|
|Prepared by:||Thomas S. Bottern, Senate Counsel (651/296-3810)|
|Date:||February 18, 2008|
Section 1 [State Response to Natural Disaster.] provides the statement of purpose for the procedures provided in this new chapter in statutes for state agencies to assist communities in recovering from a natural disaster.
Section 2 [Definitions.] provides the definitions to be used in this chapter, including a specific definition of "disaster area" to mean the area in Minnesota included in the Presidential declaration of a major disaster, including supplemental additions to that area.
Section 3 [State Assistance.] provides generally applicable restrictions for future appropriations intended to implement this chapter. Those appropriations must be separately made and in response to a specific disaster.
Subdivision 2 allows state assistance under this chapter to be made available for relief in a disaster area for costs that are ineligible for assistance through FEMA, and specifies that the assistance is not intended to duplicate or replace assistance available from other agencies, including the Small Business Administration, private insurance, or flood insurance.
Subdivision 3 provides that any state assistance for costs that are subsequently eligible for the FEMA Public Assistance Program constitutes an advance of funds and requires a repayment of those funds to the applicable state agency.
Subdivision 4 contains a general reporting requirement for any use of appropriations made to implement this chapter that provide non-FEMA public assistance.
Subdivision 5 provides general transfer authority for unused general fund appropriations made in response to the natural disaster, authorizing transfer of those funds to any other program or project funded under this chapter.
Section 4 [Agriculture.] provides specific direction for disaster assistance appropriations made to the Commissioner of Agriculture and authorizes the commissioner to develop eligibility criteria to distribute disaster assistance to affected agricultural producers after consulting with the chairs of Senate and House of Representatives committees with responsibilities for agriculture finance.
Section 5 [Board of Water and Soil Resources.] authorizes the Board of Water and Soil Resources to use appropriations to acquire easements from landowners of marginal lands in the disaster area to protect soil and water quality.
Subdivision 2 authorizes the use of appropriations in the disaster area for erosion and sediment control projects and to support fish and wildlife habitat.
Subdivision 3 authorizes the Board of Water and Soil Resources to waive the provisions of the cost-share program contained in Minnesota Rules, chapter 8400, within a disaster area on land that has been damaged by the disaster. This subdivision also waives the payment maximums for improvements to land under Minnesota Statutes, section 103F.515, subdivision 6, paragraph (a), clause (1), to the extent those payments are for easement required in the disaster area on land damaged by the disaster.
Section 6 [Education.] Subdivision 1 authorizes the payment of disaster enrollment impact aid in a per-pupil amount to be determined in the future disaster relief appropriation.
Subdivision 2 authorizes the Commissioner of Education to use the appropriation to make grants for facilities cleanup repair and replacement related to the disaster.
Subdivision 3 authorizes grants for additional school operating costs related to the disaster not covered by other sources.
Subdivision 4 also authorizes use of the appropriation for grants to districts to relieve increased costs associated with transporting students as a result of the disaster.
Section 7 [Employment and Economic Development.] This section authorizes the Commissioner of Employment and Economic Development to make grants to locally administered loan programs using criteria and requirements established with the approval of the commissioner.
Subdivision 4 provides preapproval for the expenditure of a new national emergency grant from the United States Department of Labor.
Subdivision 5 provides waivers from certain portions of statutes, including the Minnesota investment fund requirements (Minnesota Statutes, section 116F.8731, subdivisions, 3, 4, 5, and 7); business subsidy requirements (section 116J. 993); state and local business subsidy requirements (Minnesota Statutes, section 116J. 994); and economic grant requirements (section 116J.995).
Section 8 [Health.] authorizes the Commissioner of Health to use an appropriation for the assessment and evaluation of: access to health care; mental health concerns needs; infectious disease concerns; assessments of indoor environments of public and nonprofit buildings; public swimming pools; community and other drinking water systems; and private drinking water supply wells.
Subdivision 3 authorizes the Commissioner of Health to provide grants to assist community health boards.
Section 9 [Housing Finance.] authorizes the use of a future disaster appropriation to provide grants under the economic development housing challenge program in Minnesota Statutes, section 462A.33. This section authorizes the use of assistance to provide forgivable loans to homeowners and rental property owners up to a maximum set in the law making the appropriation. Loans may be used for capital improvements or replacement, provided that replacement is on a different site within the disaster area.
Subdivision 3 authorizes capacity building grants under Minnesota Statutes, section 462A.21, to local units of government for the purpose of assessing housing and related needs and to develop and implement community or regional plans to meet the needs.
Section 10 [Human Services.] authorizes the Commissioner of Human Services to contract with parties for the costs of evacuation, transportation, medical, or remedial services provided to vulnerable residents for a period of time limited to 60 days following the disaster.
Subdivision 2 authorizes the Commissioner of Human Services to make assistance payments for property damage and cleanup in the form of contract reimbursements to providers, even if:
(1) the resident receiving the services has been compelled to relocate outside of the service area for the provider; or
(2) the provider is unable to provide the services because of damage caused by the disaster to the provider's place of business.
Section 11 [Minnesota Historical Society.] authorizes the Historical Society to use an appropriation for cleanup, renovation, repair, and replacement of historic structure or other historic resources damaged by the disaster.
Section 12 [Natural Resources.] authorizes the Commissioner of Natural Resources to use an appropriation to rehabilitate, replace state facilities damaged by the disaster, and to restore natural resources within the disaster area.
Subdivision 2 authorizes the commissioner to use an appropriation for the state share of flood hazard mitigation grants to prevent or alleviate flood damage.
Subdivision 3 authorizes the use of an appropriation for grants to remove debris attributable to the disaster from lakes and streams.
Subdivision 4 waives the $150,000 limitation on the maximum grant award for flood hazard mitigation costs.
Section 13 [Pollution Control Agency.] authorizes the Commissioner of the Pollution Control Agency to use an appropriation made from the petroleum tank release cleanup fund for building rehabilitation and cleanup costs related to a petroleum tank release resulting from the disaster.
Section 14 [Public Facilities Authority.] authorizes the Public Facilities Authority to use an appropriation to make grants to local units of government to assist with rehabilitating and replacing publicly owned infrastructure, including storm sewers, wastewater systems, municipal utility services, and drinking water systems for damage related to the disaster that occurred on or after the date of the disaster. An appropriation may also be used for grants to assess underground wastewater and storm water collection systems for damages related to a disaster.
Subdivision 2 waives the criteria, limitations, and repayment requirements in the clean water revolving fund (Minnesota Statutes, section 446A.07); the wastewater infrastructure funding program (section 446A.072); and the drinking revolving fund (section 446A.081).
Section 15 [Public Safety.] authorizes the Commissioner of Public Safety to use an appropriation made for the purposes of this chapter to provide the state match for federal disaster assistance to state agencies, including payment of all or a portion of the local share of the match required for federal funds for political subdivisions.
Subdivision 2 authorizes the Commissioner of Public Safety to provide grants to counties for costs related to the burial and removal of debris resulting from the disaster from residences and farms.
Section 16 [Transportation.] Subdivision 1 authorizes the Commissioner of Transportation to use appropriations made for the purposes of this chapter from the trunk highway fund to provide transportation infrastructure operation and maintenance for costs related to the disaster.
Subdivision 2 declares the Commissioner of Transportation responsible for reconstruction and repair of trunk highways and trunk highway bridges located in the disaster area that have been damaged by the disaster.
Subdivision 3 authorizes the Commissioner of Transportation to make grants to local units of government for the capital costs of reconstructing and replacing local roads and bridges damaged or destroyed by the disaster.
Subdivision 4 requires the Commissioner of Transportation, in consultation with the Commissioner of Public Safety, to develop guidelines for local governments to use to respond to natural disasters in order to maximize the use of federal disaster assistance.
Subdivision 5 waives certain requirements in the Minnesota State Transportation Fund section, including certification and dispersal requirements for political subdivision projects (subdivision 5), grant making procedures (subdivision 6), requirements pertaining to preliminary engineering for river crossings (subdivision 6a), and rules for administering funds and grants (subdivision 7), for grants made under subdivision 3 of this section for local road and bridge damage.
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