Senate creates disaster study panel

The Missouri Senate this week joined the House in creating a special Interim Committee on Natural Disaster Recovery Efforts.

Mid-Missouri Sens. Mike Kehoe and Kurt Schaefer were named chairmen of two of the committee’s three subcommittees.

Kehoe, R-Jefferson City, will head the Emergency Response Subcommittee, joined by Republican Sens. Will Kraus, Lee’s Summit; Brian Nieves, Washington; and Majority Floor Leader Tom Dempsey, St. Charles; and Democrats Maria Chappelle-Nadal, University City, and Ryan McKenna, Crystal City.

Schaefer, R-Columbia, will head the Fiscal Response Subcommittee, along with fellow Republicans Dan Brown, Rolla; Brian Munzlinger, Williamstown; and Jim Lembke, Lemay; and Democrats Tim Green, Spanish Lake, and Kiki Curls, Kansas City.

Senate President Pro Tem Rob Mayer, R-Dexter, announced the committee and subcommittees Tuesday.

“Thousands of Missouri families have been in harm’s way this year because of natural disasters, and for many more, their way of living has been threatened,” Mayer said in a news release. “As lawmakers, it is our job to make sure government is helpful, rather than a burden, in the rebuilding process.”

He wants the committee “to look at all aspects of recovery and the role government should play.”

Mayer named Sen. Ron Richard, R-Joplin and a former House speaker, as the committee’s chairman. Sen. Brad Lager, R-Savannah, will be the vice-chairman.

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