February 7, 2024

Indiana disaster relief funds more accessible under bill headed to House

Article origination IPB News
Indiana disaster relief funds more accessible under bill headed to House

Hoosiers in need after a disaster would be able to access more money, more easily from the state’s disaster relief fund under legislation headed to the House.

Sen. Cyndi Carrasco’s (R-Indianapolis) bill would provide up to $25,000 — increased from $10,000 — for individuals with lost or damaged property due to a disaster.

It also eliminates a requirement that, to be eligible for the funds, the U.S. Small Business Administration must first declare a disaster.

“It is important to remember that the state disaster relief fund is only available when federal assistance is not available,” Carrasco said.

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SB 190 also allows counties to get more money after a disaster if they’ve done disaster mitigation work beforehand. That includes adopting a hazard mitigation plan and performing emergency management exercises.

“Studies show that for every $1 spent on a mitigation activity, $6 to $7 are saved in recovery costs,” Carrasco said.

Indiana’s disaster relief fund is funded by a fee on the sale of fireworks. And the Holcomb administration said it collects enough to cover the expanded relief under the legislation, which is a priority of the governor’s.

Brandon is our Statehouse bureau chief. Contact him at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

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