Federal Disaster Act
Illinois' U.S. Senators are backing federal legislation they say would bring consistency and fairness to how communities hit by natural disasters are chosen for federal relief. The Fairness Federal Disaster Declarations Act comes after Harrisburg and other southern Illinois communities were denied federal aid after being devastated by tornadoes on February 29th. Democrat Dick Durbin and Republican Mark Kirk say the measure would require the Federal Emergency Management Agency to give a specified weight to factors considered when determining whether communities are eligible for federal help. It also requires FEMA to consider local economic factors such as the median income and poverty rate in comparison to that of the state.