State lawmakers heard an assessment Thursday of how well Minnesota is responding to natural disasters.
The Legislative Auditor examined the state's response to recent floods, tornadoes and severe storms and gave the state a "fairly positive" review for its work helping communities recover.
But study author Jody Hauer said they also uncovered inconsistencies, especially when a disaster fails to meet the threshold of a presidential disaster declaration.
When that happens, she recommends the Legislature set clear criteria for determining under what circumstances state funding will be made available.
"Right now, communities have to make decisions on spending for these recovery activities without really knowing what portion of those costs they're going to have to bear," Hauer said.
The report also found that even when disasters did qualify for federal assistance, there were wide variations in how much the state helped local communities pay the remaining costs.