The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Tornado: Columns

July 31, 2011

Susan Redden: House panel calls for use of Rainy Day Fund

JOPLIN, Mo. — A special legislative session being planned for later this year is to include a recommendation that Missouri tap its Rainy Day Fund to pay for costs of dealing with tornadoes, including the EF-5 on May 22 in Joplin, flooding and other natural disasters in the state.

Members of the House Interim Committee on Disaster Recovery signed off on the recommendation on Friday, according to Rep. Bill White, R-Joplin, who is vice chairman of the panel.

“We made that recommendation to the speaker, and we met with the governor on it,” said White. “We want an oversight committee of members from the House and the Senate to make sure it (money from the fund) is used appropriately.

“But the comment that kept coming up again and again is that if we’re not going to use it after the kind of year the state has had — with three tornadoes and two floods — why do we have it?”

White said he will propose a change in current rules that would allow money borrowed from the fund to be repaid over a period of five or seven years, rather than the current three-year requirement.

The Rainy Day Fund currently stands at about $500 million. If it’s used to cover emergency spending, the governor must make an emergency appropriation request and the General Assembly must pass a motion to use the fund, including the specific amount to be borrowed, by a two-thirds majority in each chamber.

The amount borrowed cannot exceed half of the total fund balance, and it must be paid back, with interest, in at least one-third increments in successive fiscal year budgets.

White said other recommendations will come later from the House panel, whose other local members include Reps. Charlie Davis, R-Webb City, and Tom Flanigan, R-Carthage. The Senate has its own disaster recovery committee; Sen. Ron Richard, R-Joplin, is the chairman.

Also last week, 7th District U.S. Rep. Billy Long joined with U.S. Sens. Claire McCaskill and Roy Blunt of Missouri in sending a letter to the Federal Emergency Management Agency asking the Obama administration to fulfill Joplin’s request for a two-week extension of a 90-10 percent cost share for the city’s expedited debris removal effort.

“Joplin has taken on a huge task of removing unprecedented amounts of debris and continues to work quickly and diligently to clear the entire emergency area,” according to the letter from the three lawmakers.

“The devastation and destruction throughout Joplin is unprecedented by any standard, and the federal response must meet that level of need.”

Amy Winehouse

Often, when you hear the name of a rock star linked with a politician, it’s because some political campaign has appropriated a popular song, and the artist is saying stop or a suit will be filed. And, I am old enough — and I admit that reluctantly — to remember when Linda Ronstadt dated Jerry Brown when he was California governor the first time around.

You wouldn’t see U.S. Rep. Long and Amy Winehouse as a pair, but the two were linked last week when Long tweeted about the British singer. After news of her death became public, he posted a Twitter message comparing her substance abuse problems to Washington’s “addiction” to spending more than it takes in.

“Can anyone reach Washington before it’s too late? Both addicted — same fate?” Long tweeted.

The posting brought criticism from some, then reports found their way into national media and newspapers in the United Kingdom. Long issued a statement apologizing to anyone who had been offended by the post.

“Although I do believe spending 42 percent more than we take in is an addiction, I certainly meant no disrespect to Amy, her family or her fans,” Long said. “She was one of the few true artists to come along in a long time. What happened to her was a senseless tragedy, and drawing an analogy wasn’t meant to minimize the loss of life. If anyone took offense, I sincerely apologize.”

Susan Redden is a staff writer for the Globe. She can be reached at sredden@joplinglobe.com or 417-623-3480, ext. 7258.

1
Text Only
Tornado: Columns
  • Premier Turbines plant in Neosho to close, 80 jobs lost

    Premier Turbines will close its Neosho plant some time in early 2015.
    Chris Pratt, director of communications for Dallas Airmotive, which has owned the plant since 2003, said 80 jobs will be cut.

    June 26, 2014

  • Susan Redden: McCaskill praises Joplin cooperation

    At least two things she saw in Joplin need to be replicated in Washington, U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill said during a visit last week.
    A strong spirit of cooperation is driving Joplin’s rebuilding, she said. And,  the senator said there is a realization “that federal programs have a place.”

    August 28, 2011

  • Mark Rohr, guest columnist: Miracle of the human spirit ever-pervasive since tornado

    Monday marks 100 days since the worst tornado in our country in the past 70 years tore through our community, leaving lost lives and destroyed property in its wake. As I have said before, that fateful day in late May will be the defining moment in all of our lives whether we want it to be or not.

    August 28, 2011

  • Ron Richard, guest columnist: Partnership can spur recovery

    The tornado that ravaged Joplin and the flooding affecting Missouri River towns and businesses are both human and economic tragedies.

    August 28, 2011

  • Wally Kennedy: Flocks expected for Chick-fil-A opening

    The stocking of the Chick-fil-A restaurant at 2127 S. Range Line Road is under way in preparation for a grand reopening on Thursday. The restaurant was among 25 or so eateries on Main Street and Range Line Road that were destroyed by the May 22 tornado.

    August 27, 2011

  • Susan Redden: State officials argue about disaster money

    Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is under fire from two different fronts, both relating to plans for a special legislative session in which the Joplin tornado and its economic impact will most certainly be a topic.

    August 21, 2011

  • Wally Kennedy: Walgreen’s to reopen both stores Monday

    Monday will be a big day for two of the three stores that Walgreen’s operates in Joplin. The Walgreen’s at 20th and Main streets sustained significant damage on May 22. It was at the north edge of the tornado’s damage zone. It has had a major makeover.

    August 20, 2011

  • Aspen Bowman Roger Nomer: Image a ‘revelation’ for photographer

    The sky looked dark, but nothing more unusual than a typical springtime storm.
    I was on duty May 22 at the Globe, and had just finished taking photos of Joplin High School’s graduation when the storm sirens started to sound at Missouri Southern State University.

     

    August 19, 2011 1 Photo

  • Jo Ellis: Small deeds will make a big impact

    A big, big thanks to all who have called, emailed or written to me saying they want to participate in Nature-Joplin (Nurture a Tree-Urban Reforestation Effort-Joplin) to help Joplin recover from the May 22 tornado that scoured the landscape.

    August 14, 2011

  • Andra Bryan Stefanoni: Safe room will always be reminder of May 22

    The afternoon of May 22, I emailed a story to my editor from my home office just before the tornado sirens sounded in Pittsburg.

    August 14, 2011

Facebook
Poll

Given that the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that electronic devices and communications are protected from searches and seizure without a warrant, do you think Missouri needs Amendment 9 added to its constitution?

A. Yes.
B. No.
     View Results
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
NDN Video
US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating