Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif) today issued the following statement on the $90 billion disaster supplemental included as part of last week’s government funding bill:
“The aftermath of last year’s wildfires was heartbreaking, and as communities continue to rebuild, federal funds are going to be a vital lifeline. That’s why it was so important that last week’s federal funding bill included language that puts wildfire victims on level with hurricane victims for federal relief money.
“Hundreds of thousands of Californians were forced to evacuate, more than 1.2 million acres were burned, more than 10,000 structures destroyed and 55 people, including one brave firefighter, were killed. The funds that Congress made available to help California rebuild are priceless for all those who were affected.”
- Provides $90 billion for disaster recovery, including $55 billion for which California wildfire recovery efforts are eligible.
- Allows wildfire victims to deduct damages and qualify for special tax provisions already provided to hurricane victims.
- Increases the federal government's share of the cost for wildfire debris removal from 75 percent to 90 percent, which could save the state as much as $240 million.
- Includes $200 million for fisheries disasters. Two fisheries disasters were declared in California last year.
- Includes $4.9 billion in Medicaid funding for Puerto Rico, $2 billion for Community Development Block Grants in the Virgin Islands and $17 billion for the Army Corps of Engineers for flood infrastructure upgrades.