MARYLAND HEIGHTS, Mo. (KMOX)-Local government officials and storm victims testified Friday before the Missouri House Interim Committee on Disaster Recovery.
The Committee Chair, House Speaker Pro Tem Shane Schoeller, says the panel’s probably going to hold off on deciding whether to call for a special session to deal with the storm recovery efforts because of the ongoing flooding in the northwest part of the state.
One thing Schoeller says the committee will take a hard look at, is how insurance companies are treating storm victims, “We have heard there are certain insurance companies, I don’t have names of them, have been very difficult to work with. We certainly want to work with the department of insurance, as we hear this testimony, to say what can we do to help you make these insurance companies more accountable.”
Schoeller says he’s also looking to help the owners of businesses, who are no longer generating income because of storm damage, “If you have no source of revenue, your insurance companies are not going to cover those costs, can we do something to make sure that you’re not hurt anymore than you have been.”
Schoeller says he’s not sure yet if the committee will seek to dip into the rainy day fund to help pay for storm recovery efforts, because the state doesn’t know yet how much those efforts will cost, “I want to do any more harm to our schools, any more harm to the folks on fixed income that need our help and make sure we’re using that fund for the exact purpose for what it was, that is for example for a year like we’ve had with floods and tornadoes but we cannot recommend that fund until we have firm numbers.”
He says that while suggestions of tax increases, on tobacco or internet purchases, will likely come up, he is opposed to any tax increase.
The committee is scheduled to meet in Jefferson City in late July to plan its next steps.
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