Illinois House members passed a resolution Friday calling on the U S House to update the federal disaster declaration process after FEMA's recent denial of assistance to local governments in communities hit hard by the November tornadoes. The legislation was sponsored by State Representative Mike Unes of East Peoria and State Representative Keith Sommer of Morton. The disaster declaration process relies on a population based formula to calculate what a state's threshold is for federal assistance. Because the tornadoes affected mostly small, rural areas the damage didn't reach the federal requirement, leaving places like Washington, Illinois to fend for themselves when it came to meeting the costs of the cleanup. The Sommer Unes legislation calls on Congress to correct what they call this outdated and unfair system.
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