The stopgap funding plan passed by the legislature and signed by Governor Rauner yesterday enables the Illinois Emergency Management Agency to continue its mission to protect the residents of Illinois from a variety of hazards and respond to disasters throughout the state.
“This spending plan is good news for IEMA and our many local public safety partners,” said IEMA Director James K. Joseph. “We sincerely appreciate the efforts of the governor and the General Assembly in ensuring that these critical public safety programs can continue, and we look forward to passage of a balanced budget with structural reforms in the near future.”
SB 2047 will allow IEMA to allocate a variety of federal grant funds and other non-GRF state funds to local emergency management agencies and mutual aid partners from local law enforcement, fire services and other public safety organizations.
This includes the release of FY 16 funding totaling $650,000 to local emergency management agencies in counties surrounding the six operating nuclear power plants in Illinois. The grants, which are funded by fees paid by Exelon, support local preparedness and training efforts for a potential accident at the nuclear power plants. The stopgap funding plan also allows IEMA to provide the grants in FY 17.
The funding plan also enables IEMA to allocate federal homeland security grant funds to statewide projects as well as federal Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) funding awarded by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to the city of Chicago and Cook County for homeland security initiatives in the Chicago metropolitan area.
Other funding the agency can now ensure reaches local responders includes:
Federal Emergency Management Performance Grants to more than 100 accredited local emergency management agencies to support a significant portion of their operating budgets.Federal Hazardous Materials Emergency Planning funds to local emergency management agencies to develop, improve and implement emergency plans, study flow patterns of hazardous materials through the state, and determine the need for regional hazardous materials emergency response teams. Federal Hazardous Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) funding to communities for hazard mitigation projects, such as property buy-outs that help remove homes from frequently flooded areas. Federal Public Assistance funds to communities that received federal disaster declarations. This would help communities repair or replace critical infrastructure and recoup response and recovery costs following a disaster.