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All-Hazards Insurance Proposal in lieu of FEMA Disaster Aid has been tabled[Subject Prev][Subject Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next]
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- Subject: All-Hazards Insurance Proposal in lieu of FEMA Disaster Aid has been tabled
- From: "fturner" <fturner(--nospam--at)quiknet.com>
- Date: Tue, 10 Aug 1999 09:49:02 -0700
"State wins reprieve on disaster insurance" > By Stephen Green > COPLEY NEWS SERVICE > August 6, 1999 > > WASHINGTON-California has won a reprieve-at least temporarily- from a > plan that would require the state and local governments to spend tens > of millions of dollars a year insuring public buildings against > earthquakes and other natural disasters. > The House Appropriations Committee has blocked the proposal until its > financial implications are studied. The insurance plan, proposed by > the Clinton administration, is aimed at reducing the cost of federal > aid to areas suffering natural disasters. > The "proposal could place an enormous financial burden on states, > local governments, school districts, private nonprofit hospitals and > universities," warned a report from the committee. > The report specifically directed the Federal Emergency Management > Agency not to issue the pending insurance regulations. > Although the committee report, which accompanied a bill providing > FEMA's annual operating funds, does not have the force of law, > agencies generally obey such instructions. > FEMA will comply with the committee's directive, said Mary Margaret > Walker, a spokeswoman for the agency. "We will continue our internal > review of the regulations but will not publish them," she said. > California Gov. Gray Davis, as well as Democratic and Republican > members of Congress from California, previously had asked FEMA to > reconsider the proposed insurance demands. The new rules would require > the insurance as a condition of eligibility for federal disaster aid. > Davis said the proposed regulations would be financially devastating > to the state. Just the cost to Los Angeles County and the University > of California would be an estimated $25 million a year and $12 million > a year, respectively. > FEMA officials, under pressure to reduce costs, have complained the > present system of disaster aid rewards those who don't bother to > obtain sufficient insurance and then expect the federal government to > pick up the costs of reconstruction and other relief. > California has received more than a third of all U.S. disaster aid in > the past decade, getting some $9 billion of the $25.4 billion > distributed by FEMA. > In 1994 alone, the year of the Northridge earthquake, California > received more than $5 billion, according to Walker. > "We've got to get a handle on disaster costs," she said. > Under instructions issued by the committee, the study of the proposed > regulations' impact will be undertaken by the General Accounting > Office, an investigating arm of Congress. > FEMA must "withhold its proposed disaster insurance regulations until > the GAO report has been submitted and reviewed by the House and > Senate," the report said.
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