Summary: S.1453 — 100th Congress (1987-1988)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for S.1453. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Introduced in Senate (06/30/1987)

Major Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Amendments of 1987 - Amends the Disaster Relief Act of 1974 to make eligible for assistance for the repair, restoration, reconstruction, and replacement of damaged facilities special purpose local governments such as levee districts, irrigation districts, and reclamation districts.

Declares that the Federal share of such assistance shall not be less than 75 percent (currently, such assistance must not exceed 100 percent).

Requires the President to issue rules which provide for the recognition of differences existing among urban, suburban, and rural lands to facilitate adequate removal of debris and wreckage from large lots. Declares the Federal share of assistance for debris removal to be 75 percent.

Provides for temporary housing assistance for up to 18 months after the date of a major disaster. Authorizes the President to extend such period for an additional 18 months due to extraordinary circumstances. Declares the Federal share of such assistance to be 100 percent of eligible costs. Provides that temporary housing assistance may not be used for reconstruction or rehabilitation of damaged property when the cost of such assistance exceeds the cost of other applicable types of housing.

Sets forth notification requirements for the President when persons apply for temporary housing assistance, including: (1) all forms of assistance available; (2) criteria that must be met to qualify for each type of assistance; (3) limitations which apply to each type of assistance; and (4) the address and telephone number of offices responsible for assisting applicants.

Requires that housing assistance account for the applicant's location of and travel time to: (1) the applicant's place of business; (2) schools which family members may attend; (3) any home or place of business whose destruction or damage is the result of the major disaster which created the need for assistance; and (4) crops or livestock the applicant tends which provide 25 percent or more of the applicant's annual income.

Includes in the individual and family grant program an authorization for the President to make grants to States for land use and construction projects designed to mitigate future major disaster-related loss. Authorizes a State to expend up to ten percent (currently, three percent) of any such grant for administrative expenses. Increases the limitation on such grants for families and individuals from $5,000 to $10,000.

Repeals the restriction that crisis counseling be provided only through the National Institute of Mental Health.

Removes the authority of the President to make grants to States for the removal of damaged timber from private lands.

Provides that appeals arising from assistance decisions must be acted upon within 60 days of the receipt of such appeal.

Declares that eligibility for Federal disaster assistance begins on the date: (1) of the occurrence of the disaster; or (2) on which eligible costs are incurred, whichever is earlier.

Declares that disaster assistance shall not be restricted to limit assistance to a particular geographic area.

Sets forth procedures for State governors to request declarations by the President that a major disaster exists. Requires such request to be based on a finding that effective response to such disaster is beyond the capabilities of the State and local governments and that Federal assistance is necessary. Describes general and essential assistance that the President may provide.

Authorizes the President to contribute up to 50 percent of the cost of hazard mitigation measures.

Establishes an emergency assistance program. Sets forth procedures for State governors to request the President to declare an emergency. Describes general Federal assistance under such an emergency. Limits the amount of emergency assistance to $5,000,000, which may be exceeded if the President finds it necessary. Requires the President to report to the Congress on the nature and extent of an emergency when such limitation is exceeded.

Requires public and private nonprofit facilities in flood hazard areas to maintain flood insurance.

Declares that major disaster and emergency assistance shall not be considered income or a resource when determining benefit levels for Federal programs.

Requires the President to establish comprehensive standards to be used to assess the efficiency and effectiveness of Federal emergency and major disaster response programs administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Authorizes the Federal Government to recover the cost of assistance from any person whose negligent act or omission, or whose act or omission while engaged in ultrahazardous activity, resulted in an emergency or major disaster.

Directs the President to conduct audits and investigations necessary to ensure compliance with this Act.

Revises provisions relating to criminal and civil penalties.

Increases from $25,000 to $50,000 the maximum amount of grants to States for improvement, maintenance, and updating of State plans.

Renames the Disaster Relief Act of 1974 the Major Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act.