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Sen. Hutchison hosts delegation meeting to discuss hurricane relief efforts in Texas

Austin, TX –

U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX), Vice Chairman of the Senate Republican Conference, today hosted a meeting with Senator John Cornyn and members of the House delegation to discuss Hurricane Katrina relief successes, ongoing efforts and problems in communities throughout Texas. The meeting also dealt with pinpointing immediate legislative fixes to bureaucratic roadblocks that may hinder relief efforts.

"Texas communities have opened their doors the help their neighbors who have suffered significant losses. We can best meet their needs and those of Texas communities caring for them by working as a team," Sen. Hutchison said. "Texans must be assured they will receive significant support as they open their schools, homes and facilities to the evacuees. It is most important we focus on the current emergency relief efforts, but we also need to prepare for the weeks and months ahead."

Addressed at today's meeting and during a September 7 conference call Sen. Hutchison hosted with leaders of Texas communities impacted by the hurricane relief efforts were potential legislative changes to help communities more swiftly address the needs of dislocated victims and ensure Texas communities are adequately compensated.

Amending the definition of costs which can be reimbursed by FEMA for education expenses, allowing Texas to enroll evacuees in their Medicaid programs and receive full reimbursement and clarifying rules so FEMA can reimburse localities for security and overtime for personnel were some of the legislative changes proposed. The state of Texas has already enrolled 10,900 students from Louisiana according to the Texas Education Association.

"Senate and House leadership members have given me confidence that Texas and other states helping during this challenging time will be reimbursed," Sen. Hutchison said. "We want to help communities provide long-term education and health care support knowing they won't be burdened with the heavy cost of their services."

More news links and relief effort resources from KERA

More coverage of the health care crisis in Texas on KERA's Life in the Balance page

More news from KERA's NewsRoom