FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Contact: State Rep. Joe Dorman
Capitol: (405) 557-7305
House Approves Disaster Relief Legislation
OKLAHOMA CITY – Lawmakers voted today to create an income tax check-off to fund the 12.5 percent match required by FEMA to help pay the state portion of disaster response, relief and recovery.
House Joint Resolution 1018, by state Rep. Joe Dorman, will help local emergency management officials get relief for residents after a disaster such as this year’s ice storm, the Rush Springs lawmaker said.
“In a year when state revenue is more secure, I plan to push the Legislature to appropriate the match because of its critical importance,” Dorman said. “But because it is such a tight year, I’m pushing this funding mechanism that will allow Oklahomans to voluntarily contribute to the matching fund on their income tax returns.”
The income tax check-off would also provide funding for phone lines used to take emergency calls.
“The subject of providing monetary assistance for the phone lines came from a conference I co-hosted to look into the issue,” Dorman said. “I think it’s critical that residents be able to get in contact with emergency management officials and responders during a disaster.”
Dorman said he has worked for a long time to find funding for the match.
“I have repeatedly asked the Legislature to fund this important matching grant,” Dorman said. “This is an important first step, but I hope to secure a better funding source for the 12.5 percent match in the future.”
House Joint Resolution 1018 passed unanimously by a 69-0 vote and now heads to the Senate for consideration.