First day of Special Session is over with: here’s what happened
BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - It was a short and sweet day at the Capitol as lawmakers officially kicked off the special session, however, the real work begins tomorrow.
Lawmakers have seven days to find a solution to the problem we have with home insurance companies fleeing the state, and the ones who stay pricing folks out of their homes.
“Primarily the intent is to appropriate dollars to the program that was identified by the commissioner,” said Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee Rep. Jerome Zeringue (R).
$45 million in state money is the amount being asked for. Today lawmakers introduced the bill everyone is here for and assigned it to the committee, which will be taken up tomorrow.
“We’re somewhat limited as to what we can do legislatively within the appropriations bill. We wanted to ensure that there’s some safeguards supporting the rules that will be promulgated and making sure that we’re achieving ultimately what’s the intended goal in helping the people,” Rep. Zeringue added.
But to some people’s surprise, another bill was introduced by Representative, and candidate for state Attorney General, John Stefanski. His bill would essentially tell insurance companies who have filed for bankruptcy in the past they’re not eligible for any of the money. Something vice chair of House Appropriations, Rep. Francis Thompson (D) thinks is a good place to start.
“And we need to be very careful about what we do give them. They’ve got to show performance, not just performance for a few years...This is forever, we hope,” said Rep. Thompson.
Tomorrow, it’s possible we could expect to hear testimony from folks down on the coast who have either been dropped by their insurance provider and lost their home, or someone who’s been priced out of their home because their insurance is simply unaffordable.
“The region that I represent was the hardest hit from Ida and there’s no doubt that there are people who are questioning whether they can rebuild, or will rebuild, or have the ability to rebuild based upon insurance,” Rep. Zeringue continued.
“It’s a really difficult issue when each side gives its point of view on it. But the state of Louisiana has got to move forward,” Rep. Thompson explained.
Lawmakers will be back tomorrow to officially take it up in Appropriations but no telling how long it will stay there.
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