PNS National Newscast

Audio Activation
"Siri, play the Public News Service (podcast)"
"Hey Google, play the Public News Service podcast"
"Alexa, play Public News Service podcast"
or "Alexa, what's my news flash?" once you set it up in the Alexa app

2020Talks

Audio Activation
"Siri, play the 2020Talks podcast"
"Hey Google, play the 2020Talks podcast"
"Alexa, play Two-Thousand-Twenty Talks podcast"
or "Alexa, what's my news flash?" once you set it up in the Alexa app

Newscasts

PNS Daily Newscast - September 24, 2020 


President Trump refuses to commit to a peaceful transfer of power post election; and COVID vaccine #4 needs volunteers.


2020Talks - September 24, 2020 


A new report highlights importance of keeping guns away from the polls; and Florida wants an investigation of a fund to help pay returning citizens' court fees and fines so they can vote.

Report: States Need to Reassess Budgets for Disaster Relief

Virginia and other states are facing pressure from the federal government to assess their approaches to budgeting for natural disasters. (Tech. Sgt. Ben Bloker/U.S. Air Force)
Virginia and other states are facing pressure from the federal government to assess their approaches to budgeting for natural disasters. (Tech. Sgt. Ben Bloker/U.S. Air Force)
July 9, 2020

RICHMOND, Va. -- The summertime hurricane season has come to Virginia, and a new report shows how the Commonwealth funds its responses to natural disasters.

According to the research from The Pew Charitable Trusts, Virginia uses a combination of mechanisms to make sure money is available to pay for destructive natural events, such as flooding, which have increased in the state in recent years.

Researcher Colin Foard, associate manager for fiscal federalism at Pew, says the Commonwealth and other states need to assess their approaches to natural-disaster budgeting as disasters become more expensive, frequent and severe.

"Right now," says Foard, "states are facing mounting challenges relating to rising disaster costs, tight budgets in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, and ongoing uncertainty about the federal and state roles in paying for disasters."

Virginia ranks 19th in the nation for annual disaster-aid funding from the federal government, according to an online report by GOBankingRates. From 2013 to 2020, it received $151 million in aid.

Robbie Coates, grants administrator for the Virginia Department of Emergency Management, says the Commonwealth does not have a rainy-day fund as other states do. Instead, the department relies on the state budget and requests additional funds as disasters arise.

"A major hurricane that's about to hit Virginia would obviously have a lot more funds associated with it than maybe a smaller-scale event that maybe affects one local jurisdiction," Coates explains. "And we then have to justify those costs."

The Government Accountability Office estimates the federal government spent $460 billion on federal disaster assistance between 2005 and 2019.


Support for this reporting was provided by The Pew Charitable Trusts.

Diane Bernard, Public News Service - VA