In the wake of Hurricane Barry, state senators are working on a strategy to improve the flawed program.
Hurricane Barry may not have been a worst case scenario in Louisiana, but the damage it left behind has driven senators to push harder for a bipartisan flood insurance bill overhaul.
NFIP has been problematic for quite some time, but the senators are hoping to make it better.
Despite some flooding and damage left behind by Barry, Senator Bill Cassidy pointed out that Louisiana could have fared much worse. The storm corrected its path at the last moment, steering it away from New Orleans where it had been headed.
“The lack of flooding was a testament to investment in mitigation and preparation on the state level and the community level,” said Cassidy.
That is not to say that there wasn’t any flood damage. Many people in the state will still need assistance. At the same time, the National Flood Insurance Program continues to be in the midst of regular push-backs. Time and time again, changes are delayed and the expiry date is pushed back. Senator John Kennedy now says it’s time to break that habit and seek a bipartisan flood insurance bill to overhaul NFIP.
Senators in the state are now working on just that bipartisan flood insurance bill to improve NFIP.
“We need to do something,” explained Kennedy in a KPLCTV report. “We are on our 11th short-term extension over the past 3 years, we need to do something. The congress and especially the senate needs to get up off of its ice cold, lazy butt and pass something.”
Kennedy worked with a sizeable group of other senators to create a bipartisan bill. The goal is not only to gain support for individuals affected by flooding, but to do so in a more permanent way. This bill would provide NFIP with a 5 year extension, according to Kennedy. He added that it would also create a premium increase cap at 10 percent per year as opposed to the current 25 percent per year cap.
“These programs we put forward come from speaking with people back home in Louisiana, as to how we can make the program more affordable and accountable and sustainable,” stated Cassidy.
Kennedy pointed out that if they are able to pass the bipartisan flood insurance bill, he believes “what they will see is the national flood insurance program slowly stabilize financially, and I think people will have the comfort of knowing that their premiums can’t rise more than 10 percent a year.”