Senate passes flood delay

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The attempt to delay flood insurance rate increases is now in the hands of the House. The Senate passed the bill this afternoon, 67 to 32.

There are nearly 60,000 homeowners just in the Baton Rouge area whose flood insurance costs would increase with the new FEMA flood maps.

The bill is trying to delay those increases by four years.

Today, the Senate made sure their voices were heard loud and clear with a strong vote. Senator Mary Landrieu said the bill will not only delay the increases, but it will also require FEMA to conduct affordability studies before any insurance hikes can go into effect.

Now, it's up to the House of Representatives to pass the measure. If, for some reason, it does not pass, Senator Landrieu said Louisiana's Housing market could be in jeopardy.

"It will literally jeopardize the equity and the net worth of millions and millions of families that have done nothing wrong. Some of them don't even live in flood zones," said Landrieu. "Some of their homes have never flooded and they've been given bills they cannot pay."

Landrieu added, "People cannot sell their homes. They lose equity in their homes. Their net worth is very questionable. Banks will suffer. Real estate markets will suffer."

Governor Jindal said he believed Louisianans should not bear any burden of change from the federal government.

"The people of Louisiana shouldn't be punished. It's wrong for the federal government to change the rules after the fact, and punish homeowners and taxpayers. We support making the program sustainable, but the original changes Congress made were the wrong way to do it." said Jindal.

Jindal continued, "This is a problem that was created at the federal level, and it should be solved at the federal level. We support the efforts by the Congressional delegation to fix this where it started."

It is up to the House to pass or vote down the bill. If it passes, it will then head to President Obama for him to sign it into law.

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