RELEASE:

Cruz, Palazzo Pass the Emergency Information Improvement Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and U.S. Rep. Steven Palazzo (R-Miss.) released a statement today after the House passed S. 1090, the Emergency Information Improvement Act, that works to increase and safeguard the availability of critical information during times of emergency and crisis.

This bill amends the Stafford Act to make clear that local public radio and broadcasting stations are eligible recipients of disaster relief. It passed the Senate in September of this year under the co-authorship of Sen. Cruz and Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.).

“When disaster strikes, it is critical that the American people have access to real-time emergency information that can save lives. Texas understands the seriousness of these threats more than most states, as it has made 90 major disaster declarations since 1953 and routinely prepares for tornadoes, floods, wildfires, and hurricanes. Public radio and broadcast stations can play a significant role providing critical information during and after natural disasters and terrorist attacks. The Emergency Information Improvement Act will help eliminate any ambiguity in current law by allowing critical service communications facilities to quickly make necessary repairs and prepare for the next disaster,” Sen. Cruz said. “I commend my colleagues on both sides of the aisle and in both chambers for passing this legislation, and look forward to sending this bill to the President’s desk.”

Rep. Palazzo, who introduced the House companion bill to S.1090, said, “Disasters strike every year in every corner of America. When these disasters strike, our local public radio stations play a vital role in providing information about response efforts. This bill is a simple but very important step in helping to keep Americans safe by ensuring citizens and communities across our country have access to vital information during times of emergency and crisis. I also thank Sen. Cruz for his leadership on this bill and assuring its passage in the Senate.”

Current federal emergency response and relief statutes are ambiguous on whether local public broadcasting stations are eligible for emergency financial assistance when damaged by storms and other disasters. This legislation ensures that locally licensed stations are eligible for federal disaster relief funding in the event their facilities are impacted by a disaster.

12/16/15