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WNIJ's summary of news items around our state.

Rauner Says State Unable To Provide Funding For Flood Relief

Jeff Bossert / Illinois Public Media

Governor Bruce Rauner says state government has help for flood-damaged counties -- but not in the form of money to cover flood-related expenses.

Rauner visited the Douglas County town of Villa Grove yesterday, part of a three-day tour of flooded counties that have been declared state disaster areas. 

He says the state's inability to provide flood-relief funding has nothing to do with Illinois’ budget impasse.

“We at the state of Illinois don’t have real dedicated financial resources to help in terms of financial reimbursement," he said. "It’s nothing to do with the budget; we just have never had that in Illinois. That’s maybe something we get a look at changing over time, once we get our act together… and we start growing the economy again.”

He also says the state is helping flooded counties with equipment and supplies such as water pumps and sandbags, plus guidance from state personnel. And he says the state disaster declaration is the "first step" in trying to secure federal aid.  

Rauner admits the federal government’s standards for approving a federal disaster declaration are "pretty tough"… and it will all come down to a final figure.

Flood waters coming up from the Embarass River receded a few days ago in Douglas County. But local EMA Director Joseph Victor says a number of homes have furnaces out, and a few have foundation damage.

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