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S. 870 (114th): Fairness in Federal Disaster Declarations Act of 2015


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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Mar 26, 2015.


Fairness in Federal Disaster Declarations Act of 2015

Requires the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to amend the rules concerning the factors it considers when evaluating a governor's request for a major disaster declaration to provide that, with respect to the evaluation of the need for public assistance: (1) specific weighted valuations shall be assigned to the estimated cost of the assistance (10%), localized impacts (40%), insurance coverage in force (10%), hazard mitigation (10%), recent multiple disasters (10%), programs of other federal assistance (10%), and economic circumstances (10%); and (2) FEMA shall consider the economic circumstances of both the local economy of the affected area (including the local assessable tax base and local sales tax, median income, and poverty rate) and the state economy (including the unemployment rate).

Requires such rules to provide that, with respect to the evaluation of the severity, magnitude, and impact of the disaster and the evaluation of the need for assistance to individuals: (1) specific weighted valuations shall be assigned to concentration of damages (20%), trauma (20%), special populations (20%), voluntary agency assistance (10%), insurance (20%), average amount of individual assistance by state (5%), and economic considerations (5%); and (2) FEMA shall consider the economic circumstances of the affected area (including the local assessable tax base and local sales tax, median income, and poverty rate).

Makes such rules applicable to any disaster for which a governor requested a major disaster declaration under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act and was denied on or after January 1, 2012.