WGCU Radio Staff
Wed January 8, 2014
Sen. Nelson Pushing Flood Insurance Reforms
Florida Democratic Senator Bill Nelson is helping lead an effort to rollback rate increases on flood insurance policies. Matt Laslo reports from Washington proponents say the bill, which could come up for a vote soon, is vital for the state.
After Hurricane Katrina the federal flood insurance program became saddled in debt. To get back to solvency lawmakers passed the Biggert-Waters Act in 2012. It requires the government to raise insurance premiums in flood prone areas. Thousands of homeowners are now furious, arguing new insurance prices are making their homes worthless.
Now lawmakers want FEMA to hold off on the rate increase until it conducts an affordability assessment, which would take about three years to conduct. Nelson says flood insurance rate hikes are drying up Florida’s real estate market.
“It happens to be a matter of fairness", said Nelson. "It’s not fair that people are suddenly paying –having to pay 10 times what they were just paying.”
The legislation has twenty eight cosponsors in the Senate, including eight Republicans. Nelson says he’s expecting the legislation to come to the Senate floor this month, possibly this week or next, barring any unforeseen delays.