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113th Congress                                                   Report
                                 SENATE
 2d Session                                                     113-250
_______________________________________________________________________

                                     

                                                       Calendar No. 553

 
             EMERGENCY INFORMATION IMPROVEMENT ACT OF 2014



                              R E P O R T

                                 of the

                   COMMITTEE ON HOMELAND SECURITY AND

                          GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS

                          UNITED STATES SENATE


                              to accompany

                                S. 2665

     TO AMEND THE ROBERT T. STAFFORD DISASTER RELIEF AND EMERGENCY 
 ASSISTANCE ACT TO PROVIDE ELIGIBILITY FOR BROADCASTING FACILITIES TO 
      RECEIVE CERTAIN DISASTER ASSISTANCE, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES




               September 8, 2014.--Ordered to be printed
        COMMITTEE ON HOMELAND SECURITY AND GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS

                  THOMAS R. CARPER, Delaware, Chairman
CARL LEVIN, Michigan                 TOM COBURN, Oklahoma
MARK L. PRYOR, Arkansas              JOHN McCAIN, Arizona
MARY L. LANDRIEU, Louisiana          RON JOHNSON, Wisconsin
CLAIRE McCASKILL, Missouri           ROB PORTMAN, Ohio
JON TESTER, Montana                  RAND PAUL, Kentucky
MARK BEGICH, Alaska                  MICHAEL B. ENZI, Wyoming
TAMMY BALDWIN, Wisconsin             KELLY AYOTTE, New Hampshire
HEIDI HEITKAMP, North Dakota

                  Gabrielle A. Batkin, Staff Director
               John P. Kilvington, Deputy Staff Director
                    Mary Beth Schultz, Chief Counsel
          Jason T. Barnosky, Senior Professional Staff Member
 Alexa E. Noruk, Professional Staff Member, Subcommittee on Emergency 
 Management, Intergovernmental Relations, and the District of Columbia
               Keith B. Ashdown, Minority Staff Director
         Christopher J. Barkley, Minority Deputy Staff Director
               Andrew C. Dockham, Minority Chief Counsel
         Daniel P. Lips, Minority Director of Homeland Security
                     Laura W. Kilbride, Chief Clerk


                                                       Calendar No. 553
113th Congress                                                   Report
                                 SENATE
 2d Session                                                     113-250

======================================================================




             EMERGENCY INFORMATION IMPROVEMENT ACT OF 2014

                                _______
                                

               September 8, 2014.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

 Mr. Carper, from the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental 
                    Affairs, submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                         [To accompany S. 2665]

    The Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental 
Affairs, to which was referred the bill (S. 2665), to amend the 
Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance to 
provide eligibility for broadcasting facilities to receive 
certain disaster assistance, and for other purposes, having 
considered the same, reports favorably thereon without 
amendment and recommends that the bill do pass.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
  I. Purpose and Summary..............................................1
 II. Background and Need for the Legislation..........................2
III. Legislative History..............................................2
 IV. Section-by-Section Analysis......................................3
  V. Evaluation of Regulatory Impact..................................3
 VI. Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate........................3
VII. Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported............4

                         I. Purpose and Summary

    The purpose of S. 2665 is to make clear that the Federal 
Emergency Management Agency may include private nonprofit 
broadcasters among the organizations to whom it gives money 
after disasters. Current disaster relief law authorizes 
assistance to nonprofits that provide critical services to 
their communities, but it does not specifically identify 
nonprofit broadcasters as eligible, creating some potential 
ambiguity.

              II. Background and Need for the Legislation

    The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provides 
disaster assistance to state, tribal, and local governments as 
well as to certain types of private nonprofit organizations 
through the Public Assistance Grant Program, which is 
authorized by the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and 
Emergency Assistance Act (the Stafford Act).\1\ The Stafford 
Act currently states that public assistance funding may go to 
nonprofits that provide critical services, such as power, 
water, communications, and education.\2\ This program helps 
eligible governments and organizations cover the costs of 
debris removal; emergency protective measures, such as 
emergency demolition, emergency repairs, and the removal of 
health and safety hazards; and the repair, replacement, or 
restoration of publicly owned facilities\3\ as well as 
facilities owned by eligible private nonprofit organizations 
damaged in a disaster.\4\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, 
as amended, sections 406 and 407 (42 U.S.C. Sec. 5172 and Sec. 5173).
    \2\Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, 
as amended, section 406 (a)(3) (42 U.S.C. Sec. 5172).
    \3\44 CFR Sec. 206.221 defines ``public facility'' as ``the 
following facilities owned by a State or local government: any flood 
control, navigation, irrigation, reclamation, public power, sewage 
treatment and collection, water supply and distribution, watershed 
development, or airport facility; any non-Federal aid, street, road, or 
highway; and any other public building, structure, or system, including 
those used for educational, recreational, or cultural purposes; or any 
park.''
    \4\Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, 
as amended, sections 406 and 407 (42 U.S.C. Sec. 5172 and Sec. 5173).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    S. 2665 makes clear that nonprofit broadcasters are 
eligible for FEMA's public assistance funding--specifically 
funding for the repair, replacement, or restoration of their 
facilities. Broadcast facilities can suffer extensive damage 
during major disasters. Hurricane Katrina, for example, 
severely damaged broadcasting infrastructure in the Gulf Coast 
region, including 50 percent of area radio stations and 44 
percent of area television stations.\5\ Given the role that 
broadcasters play in disseminating information, it is important 
that their facilities be repaired as quickly as possible.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \5\The White House, The Federal Response to Hurricane Katrina: 
Lessons Learned (February 2006) 55.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    While nonprofit broadcasters currently meet the statutory 
criteria for eligibility for this assistance, the law does not 
specifically identify them as such. In order to eliminate any 
ambiguity and the potential for delayed assistance, S. 2665 
amends the Stafford Act to specifically list nonprofit 
broadcasters as among the entities that are eligible for this 
assistance.

                        III. Legislative History

    On July 24, 2014, Senator Begich introduced S. 2665, which 
was referred to the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and 
Governmental Affairs. The Committee considered S. 2665 at a 
business meeting on July 30, 2014, and it ordered the bill 
reported favorably by voice vote. The members present for the 
vote were Senators Carper, Levin, Landrieu, McCaskill, Begich, 
Baldwin, Coburn, Johnson, and Ayotte.

                    IV. Section-by-Section Analysis


Sec. 1. Short title

    This Act may be cited as the ``Emergency Information 
Improvement Act of 2014.''

Sec. 2. Eligibility of broadcasting facilities for certain disaster 
        assistance

    This section amends the definition of Private Nonprofit 
Facilities under Section 102(11)(B) of the Robert T. Stafford 
Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 5122(11)(B)) to include broadcasting 
facilities as eligible applicants for post-disaster assistance. 
This section also amends the definition of critical services 
under Section 406(a)(3)(B) of the Robert T. Stafford Act (42 
U.S.C. Sec. 5172(a)(3)(B)) to include broadcast and 
telecommunications services.

                   V. Evaluation of Regulatory Impact

    Pursuant to the requirements of paragraph 11(b) of Rule 
XXVI of the Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee has 
considered the regulatory impact of this bill and determined 
that the bill will have no regulatory impact within the meaning 
of the rule. The Committee agrees with the Congressional Budget 
Office's statement that the bill contains no intergovernmental 
or private sector-mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates 
Reform Act (UMRA) and would impose no costs on state, local, or 
tribal governments.

             VI. Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate

                                                   August 21, 2014.
Hon. Tom Carper,
Chairman, Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, U.S. 
        Senate, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for S. 2665, the Emergency 
Information Improvement Act of 2014.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Daniel 
Hoople.
            Sincerely,
                                              Douglas W. Elmendorf.
    Enclosure.

S. 2665--Emergency Information Improvement Act of 2014

    S. 2665 would codify an existing policy allowing 
broadcasting facilities to be eligible for certain government 
assistance following a disaster. CBO estimates that 
implementing this legislation would have no cost. Enacting S. 
2665 would not affect direct spending or revenues; therefore, 
pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply.
    Under current law, private nonprofit facilities are 
eligible to receive grants from the Federal Emergency 
Management Agency (FEMA) for damages incurred during a disaster 
if the facility provides critical public services or is 
ineligible for a Small Business Administration loan. According 
to information from FEMA, broadcasting facilities are eligible 
for such assistance under current agency policy. S. 2665 would 
explicitly list broadcasting facilities as an eligible provider 
of critical services in statute. But because there would be no 
change to current eligibility, CBO estimates that implementing 
S. 2665 would have no federal cost.
    S. 2665 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and 
would not affect the budgets of state, local, or tribal 
governments.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Daniel Hoople. 
The estimate was approved by Peter H. Fontaine, Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

       VII. Changes to Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

    In compliance with paragraph 12 of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, changes in existing law made by 
S. 2445 as reported are shown as follows (existing law proposed 
to be omitted is enclosed in brackets, new matter is printed in 
italic, and existing law in which no change is proposed is 
shown in roman):

                TITLE 42--THE PUBLIC HEALTH AND WELFARE

                      CHAPTER 68--DISASTER RELIEF


SEC. 5122

    As used in this Act--
          (1) * * *
          (2) * * *
          (3) * * *
          (4) * * *
          (5) * * *
          (6) * * *
          (7) * * *
          (8) * * *
          (9) * * *
          (10) * * *
          (11) Private nonprofit facility.--
                  (A) In general.--The term ``private nonprofit 
                facility'' means private nonprofit educational, 
                utility, irrigation, emergency, medical, 
                rehabilitational, and temporary or permanent 
                custodial care facilities (including those for 
                the aged and disabled) and facilities on Indian 
                reservations, as defined by the President.
                  (B) Additional facilities.--In addition to 
                the facilities described in subparagraph (A), 
                the term ``private nonprofit facility'' 
                includes any private nonprofit facility that 
                provides essential services of a governmental 
                nature to the general public (including 
                museums, zoos, performing arts facilities, 
                community arts centers, libraries, homeless 
                shelters, senior citizen centers, 
                rehabilitation facilities, shelter workshops, 
                broadcasting facilities, and facilities that 
                provide health and safety services of a 
                governmental nature), as defined by the 
                President.

SEC. 5172

    (a) Contribution.--
          (1) * * *
          (2) * * *
          (3) Conditions for assistance to private nonprofit 
        facilities.--
                  (A) In general.--The President may make 
                contributions to a private nonprofit facility 
                under paragraph (1)(B) only if--
                          (i) the facility provides critical 
                        services (as defined by the President) 
                        in the event of a major disaster; or
                          (ii) the owner or operator of the 
                        facility--
                                  (I) has applied for a 
                                disaster loan under section 
                                636(b) of title 15; and
                                  (II) (aa) has been determined 
                                to be ineligible for such a 
                                loan; or
                                  (bb) has obtained such a loan 
                                in the maximum amount for which 
                                the Small Business 
                                Administration determines the 
                                facility is eligible.
                  (B) Definition of critical services.--In this 
                paragraph, the term ``critical services'' 
                includes power, water (including water provided 
                by an irrigation organization or facility), 
                sewer, wastewater treatment, [communications,] 
                communications (including broadcast and 
                telecommunications), education, and emergency 
                medical care.