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Local Legislator Announces Plan to Help Storm Victims

After last months ice storm coated the Ozarks in almost an inch of ice, many people are scrambling to pay for the damage.

KSMU's Matt Petcoff reports on what state legislators are doing to help you pay for some of the damage...

With different insurance policies covering different amounts and types of damage, many people are left with gaps in their coverage.

State legislators are now working to fill in those gaps.

Springfield Representative Bob Dixon unveiled his plan today to set up a loan program which could be used after a natural or man-made disaster.

Dixon says for a loan to be made available, three requirements would need to be met.

Under the proposed bill, loans would be awarded first to help insured property owners meet deductibles, second to anyone not receiving FEMA assistance and finally to help cover uninsured property.

Dixon says these loans, which would be zero interest loans, are designed to encourage people to continue to insure their property.

The specifics on where the money for this program would come from are still unclear.

Dixon says there was discussion about using the state's "Rainy Day Fund" for this program but, since that money must be repaid within the year, it didn't allow for the flexibility he wanted.

So, as it stands now, he says he's working on creating a separate fund for this program.

Dixon says he's trying to move this bill through the legislative process quickly so funds could be made available to those who still need help recovering from the ice storm.

As for applying for these loans, he says having SEMA in the area of a state declared disaster will make the process run quicker.

Since SEMA is already collecting your information during damage assessments, the group would also handle the application process for the loans.