The Sun Herald, 3/5/8

Members of the Steps Coalition told the Senate Housing Committee on Tuesday that 76,000 South Mississippians still have unmet Hurricane Katrina-recovery needs.

About 50 Katrina victims, many of them disabled, as well as caseworkers and activists, asked the committee for more housing. Gov. Haley Barbour has been locked in a dispute with the Steps Coalition, which contends about 10,300 homeowners with wind damage should be given federal Katrina homeowner grants. Barbour said the state pledged to Congress it wouldn’t use the federal aid money for those who didn’t have homeowner-insurance coverage and the governor recently told the Sun Herald those who didn’t have coverage should have.

John Jopling, of the Mississippi Center for Justice, took issue with that sentiment Tuesday.

“Nobody in this room is personally responsible for the damage suffered from Hurricane Katrina,” Jopling said.