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June 24, 2008

Gov. Blagojevich joins with other Midwestern governors to ask President Bush for increased federal disaster assistance for flood-stricken areas
Action would ease financial burden of recovery for local,state government

SPRINGFIELD – Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today joined with the governors of Indiana, Iowa, and Wisconsin in a letter urging President Bush to increase to 90 percent the federal government’s share of federal disaster assistance for flooding in the five Midwestern states.  If approved, the action would significantly ease the burden of recovery for state and local governments.  A similar request was made and approved after the floods in 1993.
“Federal disaster assistance is crucial to our ability to recover from this current disaster,” said Gov. Blagojevich.  “A major factor in Illinois’ ability to recover from the 1993 flooding was the fact that the federal government recognized the extensive needs and worked with local and state government to address the extraordinary expenses, which significantly reduced the burden on communities struggling to rebuild.”
Under a federal disaster declaration, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) normally provides 75 percent reimbursement for disaster-related costs incurred by local and state governments.  The remaining 25 percent in expenses are covered by state and local entities. 
On June 20, Gov. Blagojevich sent a letter to President Bush requesting expedited federal disaster assistance that would speed help to people in the form of temporary housing and grants or loans to help with flood losses.  He also asked for assistance for state and local governments that have already incurred extraordinary costs for flood fighting efforts and that expect to spend even more for cleanup and recovery work once floodwaters recede. Illinois is currently awaiting a decision on that disaster assistance request.
To date, Gov. Blagojevich has declared 24 counties state disaster areas due to flooding, including Adams, Calhoun, Clark, Coles, Crawford, Cumberland, Douglas, Edgar, Hancock, Henderson, Knox, Jasper, Jersey, Lake, Lawrence, Madison, Mercer, Monroe, Pike, Randolph, Rock Island, St. Clair, Whiteside and Winnebago.


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