Congressman Sires supported the passage of the bipartisan Sandy Recovery Improvement Act (H.R. 219), which will help streamline disaster recovery efforts in New Jersey.
"I am proud to join my colleagues as an original cosponsor of the bipartisan Sandy Recovery Improvement Act, which passed in the House last night by a unanimous vote. This legislation builds on the important lessons learned after Hurricane Katrina, and provides key reforms to expedite the provision of disaster aid and streamline recovery and mitigation efforts," stated Congressman Sires.
Specifically, this bill allows the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to issue fixed price grants instead of its traditional reimbursement program. The change is meant to give states and localities quicker access to financial aid and greater flexibility in how money is spent in exchange for bearing the risk of cost overruns. The Sandy Recovery Improvement Act will also help expedite the construction of critical mitigation projects in New Jersey by dedicating additional resources to the environmental review process and providing advanced hazard mitigation funding to the state. In addition, the legislation will provide reforms to FEMA housing policies, allowing the agency to fund limited repairs to people's homes in order to house disaster victims if that proves more cost effective than the temporary housing typically offered.
"Not only does this bill speed up the delivery of emergency funding to the region, but it will also ensure the expeditious construction of hazard mitigation projects in New Jersey so that we do not find ourselves in this same position the next time we are faced with a major disaster. A full recovery means that all New Jerseyans feel secure in their homes and communities, and this bill is a strong step in that direction," expressed Congressman Sires.