U.S. Senator Pat Roberts today announced the Senate unanimously approved a bill he introduced with Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS) to extend the time period for the City of Greensburg, Kansas, to continue to use funds already appropriated through a Department of Labor grant to hire critical public sector employees to continue the rebuilding of Greensburg after the tornados and severe storms on May 4, 2007.
"These funds are critical to continue the significant recovery efforts still underway in the town," Senator Roberts said. "Due to the complete devastation and the small, rural nature of the town, public sector employees are especially essential to continue the progress we see today."
Senator Brownback said, "It is great news that this legislation passed the Senate. The extension of aid ensures that Greensburg, which continues to rebuild two years after the severe storms, will have more resources available to speed up the recovery and rebuilding process."
The bill, S. 681, the Greensburg, Kansas Recovery Extension Act, extends the time period to use the funds which have a two year time limit set to expire in May. This bill will extend the period for these funds to be expended until June 30, 2010.
In 2007, Senator Roberts and Senator Brownback passed legislation providing a waiver for the Department of Labor to award this grant to Greensburg and allowed the funds to be used to hire public sector employees such as administrators, zoning and planning officials and inspectors. The waiver opened up these funds to such public sector jobs and allowed the planning process to ensure federal funds already awarded, including those from FEMA and USDA, were used efficiently.
Senator Roberts said, "I am pleased we can continue to make these funds available, to see that a well coordinated re-building continues in Greensburg."
With Senate approval of the bill, Senator Roberts is hopeful the House swiftly approves the legislation and sends it to the President to be signed into law.