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S. 3093: Disaster Equity and Fairness Act


The text of the bill below is as of Oct 27, 2021 (Introduced).


II

117th CONGRESS

1st Session

S. 3093

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

October 27, 2021

(for himself and Mr. Wyden) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs

A BILL

To amend the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act to improve the provision of certain disaster assistance, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Disaster Equity and Fairness Act.

2.

Definitions

In this Act—

(1)

the term Administrator means the Administrator of the Agency;

(2)

the term Agency means the Federal Emergency Management Agency;

(3)

the term emergency means an emergency declared or determined to exist by the President under section 501 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5191);

(4)

the terms Indian tribal government and local government have the meanings given such terms in section 102 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5122); and

(5)

the term major disaster means a major disaster declared by the President under section 401 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5170).

3.

Increase cost-share for consecutive impacts

(a)

In general

Notwithstanding the provisions of law described in subsection (b), for assistance provided under sections 403, 404, 406, 408, 420, and 428 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5170b, 5170c, 5172, 5174, 5187, 5189f) to a local government or Indian tribal government in connection with the second, or subsequent, major disaster during any 3-year period, the Federal share shall be not less than 90 percent of the eligible cost of such assistance.

(b)

Provisions

The provisions of law described in this subsection are sections 403(b), 403(c)(4), 404(a), 406(b), 408(d), 408(g)(2), 420(a), and 428(e)(2)(B) of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5170b(b), 5170b(c)(4), 5170c(a), 5172(b), 5174(d), 5174(g)(2), 5187(a), 5189f(e)(2)).

4.

State and local plans for meal delivery

(a)

In general

Title IV of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5170 et seq.) is amended by adding at the end the following:

431.

State and local plans for meal delivery

(a)

In general

The Administrator may provide assistance to a State, local government, or Indian tribal government to reimburse the cost of coordinating food delivery, production, and distribution in the event of a major disaster, including—

(1)

establishing a network to coordinate food delivery, production, and distribution with businesses and private nonprofit organizations;

(2)

establishing contracts with small and mid-sized restaurants, food vendors, and private nonprofit organizations, including faith-based organizations, food banks, and soup kitchens, to prepare healthy meals for people in need; and

(3)

partnering with private nonprofit organizations, including faith-based organizations, food banks, and soup kitchens to purchase directly from food producers and farmers.

(b)

Federal share

The Federal share of the cost of an activity carried out using assistance under this section shall be—

(1)

100 percent of the eligible cost of food delivery, production, and distribution during the 30-day period beginning on the date of the declaration of the major disaster; and

(2)

not less than 90 percent of such eligible cost after the end of the 30-day period described in paragraph (1).

.

(b)

Emergencies

Section 502(a) of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5192(a)) is amended—

(1)

in paragraph (7), by striking and at the end;

(2)

by redesignating paragraph (8) as paragraph (9); and

(3)

by inserting after paragraph (7) the following:

(8)

provide assistance for food delivery, production, and distribution in accordance with section 431; and

.

(c)

Guidance

Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator shall issue comprehensive guidance to States, local governments, and Indian tribal governments regarding receiving reimbursement for the cost of food delivery, production, and distribution in the event of an emergency or major disaster under section 431 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, as added by subsection (a), including—

(1)

establishing a coordination network;

(2)

enabling streamlined arrangements for food production and distribution; and

(3)

streamlined contracting and partnering with private nonprofit organizations such that private nonprofit organizations may apply directly for reimbursement under such section as an agent of a State, local government, or Indian tribal government.

5.

Underserved communities

(a)

In general

Section 203 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5133) is amended—

(1)

by striking small impoverished each place it appears except in subsection (a) and inserting underserved;

(2)

by striking subsection (a) and inserting the following:

(a)

Definition of underserved community

In this section, the term underserved community means populations sharing a particular characteristic, and geographic communities, that have been systematically denied a full opportunity to participate in aspects of economic, social, and civic life, such as—

(1)

Black, Latino, and Indigenous and Native American persons, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, and other persons of color;

(2)

members of religious minorities;

(3)

lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and nonbinary persons;

(4)

persons with access and functional needs;

(5)

persons who live in rural or geographically isolated areas; and

(6)

persons otherwise adversely affected by persistent poverty or inequality.

; and

(3)

in subsection (h)—

(A)

in paragraph (2)—

(i)

in the paragraph heading, by striking small impoverished and inserting underserved; and

(ii)

by striking carried out in a and inserting carried out in, or that will benefit persons who are members of, an; and

(B)

by adding at the end the following:

(3)

Technical assistance

The Administrator shall provide direct technical assistance to eligible entities under this section for applications under this section, prioritizing communities that—

(A)

have not received hazard mitigation assistance under this Act during the 5-year period ending on the date of enactment of this paragraph;

(B)

are Indian tribal governments;

(C)

are underserved communities;

(D)

have demonstrated a compelling need, such as significant social vulnerability;

(E)

have experienced multiple major disaster declarations during the 5-year period ending on the date of enactment of this paragraph; or

(F)

are exposed to increased hazards or vulnerabilities.

.

(b)

Increase cost-Share

(1)

Definition

In this subsection, the term underserved community has the meaning given that term in subsection (a) of section 203 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5133), as amended by this section.

(2)

Federal share

Notwithstanding the provisions of law described in paragraph (3), for any emergency or major disaster, the Federal share of assistance provided under sections 403, 404, 406, 408, 420, 428, and 503 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5170b, 5170c, 5172, 5174, 5187, 5189f, 5193)) or section 1366 of the National Flood Insurance Act of 1968 (42 U.S.C. 4104c), shall be not less than 90 percent of the eligible cost of such assistance for a recipient—

(A)

that will use the assistance in, or for the benefit of persons who are members of, an underserved community; or

(B)

who is in, or who is a member of, an underserved community.

(3)

Provisions

The provisions of law described in this paragraph are sections 403(b), 403(c)(4), 404(a), 406(b), 408(d), 408(g)(2), 420(a), 428(e)(2)(B), and 503(a) of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5170b(b), 5170b(c)(4), 5170c(a), 5172(b), 5174(d), 5174(g)(2), 5187(a), 5189f(e)(2), 5193(a)).

(c)

Technical and conforming amendment

The Earthquake Hazards Reduction Act of 1977 (42 U.S.C. 7701 et seq.) is amended—

(1)

in section 4 (42 U.S.C. 7703), by adding at the end the following:

(11)

The term small impoverished community means a community of 3,000 or fewer individuals that is economically disadvantaged, as determined by the State in which the community is located and based on criteria established by the President.

; and

(2)

in section 5(b)(2)(B)(ii) (42 U.S.C. 7704(b)(2)(B)(ii)), by striking , as defined in section 203 of the Disaster Relief Act of 1974 (42 U.S.C. 5133(a)).