Florida is backing a Mississippi lawsuit that seeks to block the federal government from phasing out flood-insurance subsidies. Governor Rick Scott, Attorney General Pam Bondi and Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater said Thursday that Florida would file a friend-of-the-court brief in the case.
Mississippi's Department of Insurance has filed a lawsuit aimed at delaying the increases set in a federal law known as the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act. Scott used the announcement to take verbal shots at President Barack Obama.
"The president has not led on this issue", said Scott. "He needs to lead. He needs to look at what’s going to happen. As the CFO said, we’re going to have families lose their homes because their insurance rates are going to go up because the president signed a bill that didn’t make any sense."
The 2012 law requires the Federal Emergency Management Agency and other agencies to make changes to the way the National Flood Insurance Program is run.
The changes include raising rates to reflect true flood risk and to make the program more financially stable. But realtors and bankers have expressed concerns that phasing out the federal subsidies on older properties in flood zones could harm the housing market and the state's economy.