Lawmakers plan to reauthorize the National Flood Insurance Program

Published: Nov. 4, 2021 at 5:19 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Flooding in Louisiana is nothing new, but prevention and cleanup are a constant struggle.

That’s why Republican Congressman Clay Higgins wants to reauthorize the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). This time, with some changes to try and make it better. It’s an effort both Democrats and Republicans support.

“Yes, not only do I support it, I’m a co-author of the bill. I’m proud to be a part of it,” said Congressman Troy Carter (D-LA).

The most notable proposed changes are extending the program for five years into September of 2026 and capping the amount you pay for coverage from the current 25% to just 9%. It will also put guardrails on FEMA and their new rating method, known as Risk Rating 2.0, to prevent any changes in interest rates that could weaken the program.

“You know, we have to go in a direction to where people aren’t having to keep applying for these grants by doing better to fix many of these things that cause people to need flood insurance in the first place,” Congressman Carter continued.

Marie Constantin with the Louisiana Storm Water Coalition said she could not agree more.

“The NFIP is only half of the solution. If we don’t pivot in the state of Louisiana and start giving storm water management permanent funding on utility bills and grants and other cobbled together monies, then what good is it?” Constantin said.

As a fierce advocate for stormwater flood prevention in the Baton Rouge area, Constantin said the NFIP is a two-sided coin.

“It’s huge and it’s helpful but in some sense, it’s hurting us because it’s allowing us to be in denial. You know, it’s only good if we do this other piece too and we are starting to do this other piece,” Constantin explained.

This bill is still making its way through Congress and some more changes are likely to be made along the way. But according to both congressmen, the timeframe for a vote looks like it could be sometime next year.

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