Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner says he'll appeal an Obama administration decision last month denying the state millions in federal disaster assistance. The governor's office says late December’s severe flooding in central and southern Illinois caused more than 16 million dollars in damage.
But U-S Senator Dick Durbin says an appeal won't help because the federal government’s assistance formula is stacked against states like Illinois.
"When you're in a state with a large population like ours, in this case a major urban center, you can't qualify. More rural states and sparsely populated that can qualify because the formula favors them," Durbin said.
Despite Illinois' many rural areas, Durbin says local governments won’t get federal reimbursement for disaster expenses unless Congress changes the law. He says smaller states, like Rhode Island, would oppose such changes.