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New flood insurance legislation expected
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CLEARWATER – New legislation is expected to be introduced in the U.S. Senate next week that will mirror House Resolution 3218 to delay all National Flood Insurance Program premium increases due to Biggert Waters 2012.

Greg Burns, a lobbyist with Van Scoyoc Associates in Washington, D.C., which represents the city of Clearwater, told Clearwater Mayor George Cretekos in an Oct. 22 email that Senate staff indicated Sen. Robert Menendez (D-New Jersey) and others would introduce the legislation that is designed to delay all NFIP increases.

HR 3218 is the Flood Insurance Fairness Act of 2013. It is designed to delay increases in flood insurance premium rates under the national flood insurance program until completion of a pending study regarding the affordability of such rates and congressional consideration of reforms to make such rates affordable.

“HR 3218 is in my opinion the best legislation out there because it deals with all the rate increases, not just some of them,” said Burns. ”This is great news. However, I still believe that there are a number of members of Congress and Senators out there that will silently fight delays in the implementation of BW12.”

He said two in particular, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Oklahoma) and Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Alabama) have both reportedly said they will continue to block proposals to delay rate increases.

“Elected officials from Baldwin and Mobile counties in Alabama (the two coastal counties) which are heavily impacted by BW12 are being brought up to speed on what’s happening and they are engaging with Shelby on the issue. He is particularly important because he helped draft the law as the ranking member of the Banking Committee during the development of BW12. If Shelby can be turned, we may be able to get a number of additional senators on board.”

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