Download this document in MS Word 97 format

NO. R-144. JOINT RESOLUTION RELATING TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF A DISASTER RELIEF, RECOVERY AND MITIGATION PLAN FOR VERMONT.

(J.R.H.97)

Offered by: Committee on General, Housing and Military Affairs.

Whereas, in response to Sec. 1 of Act No. 137, the Secretary of Administration filed with the General Assembly a report that addresses Vermont's response to emergencies and disasters, and

Whereas, in response to Sec. 3 of Act No. 137, the Agency of Natural Resources filed a report with the General Assembly that outlines options for state flood control policies, plans and programs for flood prevention and flood emergency response, and

Whereas, the General Assembly commends both the Secretary of Administration and the Agency of Natural Resources for their efforts and responsiveness to the General Assembly's request as articulated in Act No. 137 to consider the issues and propose options related to a state's response to disasters and emergencies, and

Whereas, the administration's report, a work-in-progress, addresses only the issue of federally-declared disasters for which federal procedures and funding are already in place, and

Whereas, the administration still needs to develop a specific and detailed proposal for a clear chain of command, a state plan that will provide an efficient, effective and speedy response to any state emergency or disaster that does not rise to the level of a federally-declared emergency or disaster, and budget proposals for program support, relief funding and procedures for distribution of relief funding, and

Whereas, the administration's report has recommended that, in regard to federally-declared disasters, municipalities use their own resources to cover all of the nonfederal (25 percent) share up to an amount that does not exceed ten percent of the municipality's property taxes assessed for nonschool purposes, and

Whereas, the Agency of Natural Resources has provided an extremely thoughtful, concrete and detailed proposal for flood prevention and flood disaster response, the goals and approach of which are supported by the General Assembly, and

Whereas, the report issued by the Agency of Natural Resources should be widely distributed to other relevant subdivisions of state government, state municipalities, regional planning organizations, federal agencies and any other governmental organization involved with disaster and emergency planning, and

Whereas, the administration should carefully review and consider the proposals included in the Agency's report and coordinate those goals and programs with any administration disaster plan which shall be included in any budget proposals for FY 2001 and beyond, now therefore be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:

That the General Assembly requests the Administration to complete its work-in-progress and provide to the General Assembly no later than December 1, 1999, an additional report that includes a comprehensive and detailed proposal, including legislation, for a state response to disasters and emergencies, with particular emphasis on disasters and emergencies that are not federally declared, so that consideration of the legislative proposals may begin at the beginning of the 2000 legislative session, and be it further

Resolved: That the General Assembly urges the Agency of Natural Resources to present to the General Assembly no later than December 1, 1999, a follow-up report on implementation of their programs for review by the House Committee on General, Housing and Military Affairs, the Senate Committee on General Affairs and Housing and the House and Senate Committees on Natural Resources and Energy, and be it further

Resolved: That the House Committee on General, Housing and Military Affairs, the Senate Committee on General Affairs and Housing and the House and Senate Committees on Natural Resources and Energy will review the administration's completed final proposal for a state disaster and emergency procedure and the Agency of Natural Resources' follow-up report on the progress of implementing their flood prevention and relief proposals so that a comprehensive state disaster and emergency plan can be approved and implemented no later than January 1, 2001, and be it further

Resolved: That the General Assembly recommends that, in regard to a federally-declared emergency or disaster, a municipality use its own resources to cover one-half of the nonfederal (25 percent) share, up to an amount that does not exceed ten percent of the municipality's property taxes assessed for nonschool purposes, and be it further

Resolved: That the Secretary of State be directed to send a copy of this resolution to the Secretary of Administration, Kathleen Hoyt, the Secretary of the Agency of Natural Resources, John Kassel, and each regional planning commission in Vermont.