U.S. Senate approves $37.5M in isle storm aid
The bill to help areas hit by recent rain now goes to a joint congressional panel
Hawaii is set to receive $37.5 million in storm-related assistance as part of an emergency appropriation bill passed yesterday by the U.S. Senate.
Senators voted 78-20 to approve the 2006 Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Bill, which includes money for Kauai and other parts of the state affected by recent heavy rain, Sen. Daniel Inouye said in a release.
The bill now moves to a conference committee, where Senate and House members will work out their differences.
The House passed its version of the emergency spending bill by a vote of 348-71 in March.
"I am well aware of the crucial role the funds will serve in helping all affected areas of the state, as well as residents and businesses, in recovering from the havoc-causing weather," said Inouye, D-Hawaii, a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee.
"The funds will also help to ensure that the state can better withstand similar weather-related emergencies," he said.
The Hawaii funds include:
» $20 million for repairs to Kuhio Highway, other roads and road infrastructure.
» $6 million to help sugar cane growers cope with their losses.
» $3 million for the repair and rebuilding of an irrigation system on Kauai and removal of debris following the Kaloko Reservoir dam failure that killed seven people in March.
» $3 million for debris removal and stream bank stabilization throughout Oahu.
» $3 million to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for water systems technical assistance and flood plain management services.
» $1 million to help the state assess water quality in the wake of the March 24 spill of 48 million gallons of raw sewage into the Ala Wai Canal.
» $1 million for crop disaster assistance.
» $500,000 for the U.S. Geological Survey's Hydrologic Networks and Analysis Program to help assess critical reservoirs and dams on Kauai.
On Tuesday, President Bush cleared Hawaii for millions of dollars in disaster relief from damage caused by flooding.
Bush signed an emergency disaster declaration that qualifies Kauai and Oahu residents for relief money to help recover from the storms.