Kansas Officials Eye Disaster Relief Fund

February 13, 2012

Kansas legislators are modifying a proposal from Gov. Sam Brownback’s administration to establish a fund to cover the state’s share of federally declared disasters.

Brownback wants to use $12 million from taxes collected each year on insurance premiums to establish what would be a rainy day fund for disasters that cause extensive damage to infrastructure and property.

The measure is aimed at avoiding the situation they faced in 2011 when lawmakers adjourned the session and failed to finance $27 million in payments that the state owed for its share of disaster-related expenses, the bulk of which was owed to rural electric cooperatives.

Federal funds cover 75 percent of the disaster. Local entities, including municipalities, pay 15 percent, with the state covering the final 10 percent.

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