Eastern lawmakers call for hurricane recovery committee

Posted August 31, 2011 10:56 a.m. EDT

A group of Democratic lawmakers from eastern North Carolina has asked legislative leaders to immediately form a committee to develop a state recovery plan following Hurricane Irene.

“In times like these, the role of state government is to help people in need,” the lawmakers wrote in a letter sent Tuesday to House Speaker Thom Tillis and Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger. “To prevent further damage to North Carolina’s economy, the General Assembly must act quickly to assess the damage caused by Hurricane Irene and do everything in the state’s power to get people and businesses hurt by the storm back on their feet.”

The General Assembly reconvenes on Sept. 12 to consider putting amendments to the state constitution on next year's ballot, and the lawmakers said the special committee should meet next week so it could prepare disaster relief legislation that could be voted on quickly by the full House and Senate.

Tillis and Berger said in a statement issued Sunday that the General Assembly would do "everything necessary to help restore and rebuild what has been lost" and that the Republican leadership would work with Democratic Gov. Beverly Perdue to "ensure that any and all necessary resources reach their intended targets in the affected areas of our state.”

The letter to Tillis and Berger was signed by Sens. Sen. Clark Jenkins, Ed Jones and Stan White and Reps. Angela Bryant, Jean Farmer-Butterfield, Susi Hamilton, Marian McLawhorn, Annie Mobley, Bill Owens, Tim Spear, Joe Tolson, William Wainwright, Edith Warren and Michael Wray, as well as Senate Minority Leader Martin Nesbitt and House Minority Leader Joe Hackney.