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Steven P.
Republican MS 4

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  • Emergency Information Improvement Act of 2015

    by Representative Steven M. Palazzo

    Posted on 2015-12-16

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    PALAZZO. Mr. Speaker, I give my full support of Senate Bill 1090, the Emergency Information Improvement Act. Congressman Brian Higgins of New York and I sponsored [[Page H9338]] the House version of this bill, and we are proud to see this simple but very important piece of legislation pass.

    Disasters strike every year in every corner of America. Hurricanes on the Gulf Coast and Eastern Seaboard, ice storms in the Midwest and plains states, wild fires in the West, tornados through our Nation's heartlands and flooding in Texas, the Carolinas, and elsewhere.

    During a disaster, local public radio stations play an essential role in delivering information about response efforts, local relief supplies, evacuation orders and emergency routes, where to find food, shelter and fuel as well as on-the-ground, at-the-scene reporting to help affected communities understand and respond.

    Approximately 98 percent of the American population has access to a public radio or TV signal. Current federal emergency response and relief statutes are ambiguous on whether local public broadcasting stations are eligible for emergency financial assistance when damaged by storms and other disasters. This legislation amends the Stafford Act to make clear that local public radio and broadcasting stations are eligible recipients of disaster relief. The Emergency Information Improvement Act brings greater stability to the availability of critical information during times of crisis.

    Its passage by Congress will significantly boost our efforts to ensure that all Americans have the information they need when they need it during occurrences of natural and man-made disasters. It will guarantee that locally licensed stations are eligible for federal disaster relief funding in the event their facilities are impacted by a disaster.

    I want to personally thank my colleagues in the Senate, Senators Ted Cruz and Cory Booker, for introducing companion legislation in the Senate and for their hard work in seeing this important piece of legislation pass their chamber.

    {time} 0945 The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on the motion offered by the gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. Costello) that the House suspend the rules and pass the bill, S. 1090.

    The question was taken.

    The SPEAKER pro tempore. In the opinion of the Chair, two-thirds being in the affirmative, the ayes have it.

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