The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


January 30, 2014

U.S. Senate votes to delay flood insurance premium hikes

— WASHINGTON — Pennsylvania’s senators split their votes today as the Senate passed legislation which would delay flood insurance premium increases for many flood insurance policyholders affected by the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act.

The bill, which passed 67 to 32 with Sen. Bob Casey voting “yes” and Sen. Pat Toomey voting “no,” will delay the premium hikes for four years, “and require FEMA to complete an affordability study, propose real solutions to address

affordability issues, and certify that their mapping process is accurate before any flood insurance premiums can be raised in the future,” according to bill sponsor Robert Menendez.

The bill would also push the reforms back beyond the law’s 2017 renewal date.

Toomey had proposed an amendment to the bill which would phase in rate increases for homeowners, never allowing premiums to rise by more than 25 percent of what the homeowner was paying in the previous year.

“Slower phase-ins provide the opportunity for affected homeowners in our commonwealth and across the country to prepare for the future cost of flood insurance,” Toomey said in a conference call Wednesday.

However, that amendment was defeated 64 to 35 Thursday. Representatives for Toomey said the senator had no further comment Thursday.

Casey lauded the bills passage in a statement.

“I am pleased that the Senate has passed this bipartisan legislation which will give certainty to over 30,000 homeowners across Pennsylvania,” he said. “In the last few years, families across the Commonwealth have dealt with flooding that has battered homes and strained finances. Homeowners who have faced the challenges of flood damage will now have some peace of mind that this legislation will prevent sudden drastic rate hikes.”

The bill now heads to the House of Representatives, where its future is uncertain, with House Speaker John Boehner reportedly telling the Associated Press Jan. 16 that the House will not take up the bill.

The Obama Administration has also expressed concern about the bill, which was created to fix a system which is more than $25 million in debt.

The higher premiums were the result of changes made to the federal flood insurance program less than two years ago - widely praised as long-overdue reforms of the program - that were designed to make it more financially stable and bring insurance rates more in line with the real risk of flooding.

Toomey said the unrealistic chances of the bill becoming law is part of the reason he could not support it.

“This approach is not going to become law,” Toomey said while speaking on the Senate floor Thursday. “The administration does not accept this approach ... The speaker of the house feels the same way ... So if you really want to do something you’ve got to support a program and approach that actually works.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report

Text Only
  • 1obamanew.jpg Conflicting rulings on Obamacare

    A federal appeals court has delivered a serious setback to President Barack Obama’s health care law, potentially derailing subsidies for many low- and middle-income people who have bought policies.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • bearden9.jpg Bail reduced for Bearden

    Jasmine Bearden, who was arrested earlier this year on criminal attempted homicide charges for the alleged abuse of her six-week old baby, had her bail reduced in Union County on Tuesday morning.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • US airlines scrap Israel flights

    Two U.S. airlines cancelled all flights to Israel until further notice, after a rocket landed near Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport.

    July 22, 2014

  • 1flag.jpg Mysterious white flags appear atop Brooklyn Bridge

    Someone has replaced two American flags on the Brooklyn Bridge with mysterious white flags.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • bass22.jpg Mifflinburg honors its national fishing champs

    MIFFLINBURG — More than 50 friends, fans and relatives gathered in front of Mifflinburg Area High School on Monday night to celebrate the homecoming of juniors Nick Osman and Garrett Enders, newly crowned winners of the BASSmasters National High School Championships, held last week in Tennessee.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Newport official succeeds Snook in $94G-a-year post

    Newport School District’s director of educational services is slated to be hired tonight by the Midd-West School Board to fill the vacant director of curricular and instruction position.

    July 22, 2014

  • Report: Retaliation by supervisors common at VA

    A pharmacy supervisor at the VA was placed on leave after complaining about errors and delays in delivering medications to patients at a hospital in Palo Alto, California.

    July 22, 2014

  • $5,000 added for M-W restroom work

    The bill for the Midd-West School District stadium restroom renovations continues to rise to the consternation of at least one board member.

    July 22, 2014

  • Today's editorial: Dubious achievements in press secretary-ism

    Ryan Shucard, press secretary to Valley Congressman Tom Marino since May, recently posted on LinkedIn that he was excited and ready to elevate the congressman’s legislative profile — which Shucard did last weekend (but not in a good way) when he got himself arrested for bringing a pistol into a federal office building.

    July 22, 2014

  • Danville train diver left hospital 4 days before suicide

    DANVILLE — The young man who killed himself by diving under an Iron Heritage Festival passenger train underwent treatment in mental health facilities as recently as four days before his death, according to Montour County Coroner Scott E. Lynn.

    July 22, 2014

The Daily Marquee

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.