Lawmakers to tackle tornado recovery

Posted April 28, 2011 2:34 p.m. EDT

Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger and House Speaker Thom Tillis have appointed a joint select committee to respond to tornado damage and advise the General Assembly on possible legislative action to address the recovery effort.

The bipartisan committee is comprised of House and Senate members from districts where a state of emergency was declared after the April 16 tornado outbreak, which killed 24 people, destroyed hundreds of homes and businesses across 33 counties and caused millions of dollars in damage.

"The storms continue to affect many lives, homes and communities,” Berger, R-Rockingham, said in a statement. “We will do all we can to help federal and state relief efforts and help North Carolinians get their lives back.”

The committee will review legislation necessary to coordinate state and federal response to tornado damage, receive briefings from all agencies involved in cleanup and recovery efforts, assess damage and recovery across the state and report and recommend further legislative action to the General Assembly.

“Given the devastation of April 16, a stepped-up response from the North Carolina legislature is the least we can do for the citizens affected by the storms,” Tillis, R-Mecklenburg, said in a statement. “In fact, we need to search for more ways to provide assistance to the storm victims, and this committee will provide insight on how best to move forward with recovery efforts.”

Sen. Louis Pate, R-Wayne, and Rep. Mike Stone, R-Lee, will serve as co-chairmen.

Senate members of the committee include Dan Blue, D-Wake, Neal Hunt, R-Wake, Josh Stein, D-Wake, Richard Stevens, R-Wake, Bob Atwater, D-Chatham, Harris Blake, R-Moore, Michael Walters, D-Robeson, Wesley Meredith, R-Cumberland, Brent Jackson, R-Sampson, Eric Mansfield, D-Cumberland, David Rouzer, R-Johnston, E.S. "Buck" Newton, R-Wilson, Clark Jenkins, D-Edgecombe, Jean Preston, R-Carteret, Harry Brown, R-Onslow, and Ed Jones, D-Halifax.

House members serving on the committee will be named later.