Gov. says special session for tornado relief unlikelyby Laura Yuen, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Gov. Tim Pawlenty said there probably will not be a special legislative session exploring state relief for the tornado-stricken city of Hugo.
He said the city appears to be in good position to pay for cleanup costs and will probably seek reimbursement from the state next session.
Pawlenty said the city appears to be ineligible for federal assistance through FEMA or the Small Business Administration.
"Almost all of the damage, in fact, all of the damage is to recently built, privately insured homes, so there isn't an uninsured loss in the eyes of FEMA or the SBA. And the amount of damage to public infrastructure is, in the realm of natural disaster damage, doesn't meet the threshold either. So what the city is left with really is debris cleanup," said Pawlenty.
The governor signed into law Thursday a $105 million bonding bill that directs state money toward a light-rail train line between St. Paul and Minneapolis, a new nursing home for veterans in Minneapolis, and a new state park near Lake Vermillion.
Pawlenty also signed a health care reform bill that aims to expand coverage and encourage preventative care.