Thursday, September 29, 2005
session deals with storms aftermath
Mississippi lawmakers are in special session this week to discuss issues to mitigate the effects of Hurricane Katrina on local governments and communities, according to Sen. Ralph Doxey of Holly Springs.
Four issues Doxey said the legislative bodies will take up include:
Doxey said another special session is likely to be called after the Federal Emergency Management Agency and Mississippi Emergency Management Agency have better estimates of what the two agencies can do to contribute to disaster recovery.
Rep. Kelvin Buck said he thinks the legislature, in addition to focusing on business and local government concerns, can deal with the concerns of individuals who lost homes and jobs.
I think whatever kind of revenue we provide - state or federal dollars - should get to people who need it the most, not just business and industry, Buck said. Everyday working, tax paying people of the state need help, too.
Once we get the people back on their feet and back to work that will help rebuild the states economy, Buck said.
The legislature and state agencies will look at ways to cut as much of the red tape as possible to help individuals, businesses and industry receive the assistance they need, he said.
I hope we can work with the insurance industry to assure that property owners receive their benefits and that insurance providers continue to write business in areas affected the worst by Hurricane Katrina, Buck said.
He said small businesses in particular and businesses in general need time to pay back the loans they receive.
I am going to introduce legislation that would defer repayment of all principal and interest for up to four years to give businesses a chance to rebuild their business base, Buck said.
He said the deferred repayment idea stems from the same process by which college loan repayments are deferred to give graduates time to find employment.
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