Ky. senator proposes amendment to flood relief bill
FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - Thursday marks the second day state lawmakers return to the Capitol.
Both the House and Senate reconvened for the second reading of a proposed flood relief bill for eastern Kentucky. While the House adjourned for the day immediately following the reading, those in the Senate heard one of their own propose on amendment to the bill.
Several senators have shared stories of the what they’ve seen in eastern Kentucky over these past few weeks. It was Senator Brandon Smith of District 30 who became emotional on the floor as he expressed the dire need to include funding for housing in this flood relief plan.
Senator Smith presented an amendment to the proposed $200 million relief plan. A big part of the relief package is to rebuild infrastructure, restore roads and bridges and help schools that delayed their start dates.
Smith said there is a glaring issue he believes the plan doesn’t address, which is there has not been money set aside to help rebuild and restore homes. Just getting back from Hardshell in Breathitt County, he says so many people are still living out of tents and lucky ones have temporary trailers.
He says many people aren’t being helped by FEMA quickly enough or adequately enough and has proposed an amendment to allocate $50 million from the state’s rainy day fund that would solely address housing needs.
“My point here is, is this infrastructure is great, but what is a desk without a student? What is this infrastructure if there’s no one in the holler? What is the bridge if there’s no houses there? And that’s, that’s what this is about,” Senator Smith said.
When asked if he believes he’ll get a floor vote on the amendment Friday, Senator Smith said there are many ways an amendment can be stopped from reaching the floor, and no one has stopped this one yet. He said he’s confident fellow senators and leadership would be in favor of this.
Both the House and Senate will reconvene for the third reading of the bill at 10:00 a.m. Friday.
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