An important piece of legislation authored by state Rep. Randy Frye, R-Greensburg, has been signed into law by Gov. Mike Pence.

House Enrolled Act 1325 addresses disaster relief funding.

Frye, whose district includes part of Jefferson County, was concerned about small towns having to absorb the cost of disaster relief.

When Henryville was devastated by a tornado in March 2012, many Hoosiers found themselves in need.

Firefighters from across the state responded to the scene, but there was no state mechanism to pay for the overtime the responders were putting in.

Frye was correct. That had to be fixed. He saw that local departments didn't have the resources to absorb the cost of paying for the overtime.

About his legislation, Frye said, "As a retired firefighter, I understand the financial burdens that local fire departments face. When disaster strikes, even in distant communities, firefighters are more than willing to respond and help their neighbors in need."

The new legislation allows the State Disaster Relief Fund to be used to pay first responders. The legislation also provides funds for local departments to bring in backup firefighters to replace those who responded to a disaster.

This legislation will ensure that emergency response to people in need after a disaster won't be compromised due to a lack of funding.