After a longer-than-expected wait, billions of dollars in federal storm relief are headed to residents and businesses in Connecticut and throughout the Northeast who are still recovering from Hurricane Sandy.
The U.S. Senate yesterday approved a $50.5 billion aid package, voting 62 to 36 in favor of the measure, with President Barack Obama expected to sign the bill in the coming days. Senate approval came after the House of Representatives recently voted in favor of the bill, 241 to 180.
The funds add to a $9.7 billion initial aid package that was enacted by Congress earlier this month.
Govs. Dannel P. Malloy, Andrew M. Cuomo of New York and Chris Christie of New Jersey applauded the vote.
“Despite the difficult path in getting to this moment, the Senate membership clearly recognized early on the urgency and necessity of approving the full aid package and its importance in rebuilding our battered infrastructure and getting our millions of affected residents back on their feet as quickly as possible,” they said in a joint statement.
Separately, Malloy said at a Jan. 28 press conference in Hartford that he would introduce legislation to create a fund for victims of disasters and other emergencies that would establish a means of collecting and distributing private donations to those in need.
The Connecticut Coordinated Assistance and Recovery Endowment (CT CARE) Fund would be governed by an executive board comprising representatives of the nonprofit, corporate and accounting communities, as well as government officials, with the board responsible for final decisions on the distribution of funds.
Under the proposal, donations to the CT CARE Fund would pass through the state, but 100 percent of all donations would be restricted to carry out the respective donor’s intent. The funds would not be accessible to the state for any other use.
“Working in conjunction with state and municipal emergency officials, this fund will provide a trusted venue for donors, and will help us get needed assistance to victims quickly,” Malloy said in a Jan. 28 statement.