Senator Says Higher Reimbursements Would Have 'Huge Implications'

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – More than six months after superstorm Sandy hit, Sen. Charles Schumer has asked the federal government to increase federal reimbusements to help areas still struggling.

The senator has petitioned the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Office of Management and Budget to boost its disaster reimbursement rate from 75 percent to 90 percent.

“I want to start a campaign to pressure them immediately. That’s why we’re here today. Raising the reimbursement rate to 90 percent has huge implications for local governments and for taxpayers,” said Schumer. “Every dollar the federal government picks up is one less dollar that our local New York taxpayers will have to shell out for themselves.”

Schumer said for cities and towns socked by Sandy, it would be a huge infusion of cash.

“This is an immediate bump of $900 million, a huge amount of money,” Schumer told reporters including WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond.

The senator noted similar exceptions were made following other major natural disasters.

“There’s no question that Sandy was a storm of major significance. That’s why Congress passed $60 billion worth of aid. Congress’s intent was for the feds to pick up as much as possible just as they did for Katrina, Andrew and other storms,” said Schumer.

The federal reimbursements are used for repairing public property damaged by Sandy.

Schumer said in good economic times and bad, the federal government has always aided victims of disasters.

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