Political Buzz

Talking WA politics.

NOTICE: Political Buzz has moved.

With the launch of our new website, we've moved Political Buzz.
Visit the new section.

State flood insurance passes House

Post by Jordan Schrader / The News Tribune on Feb. 12, 2010 at 10:15 pm |
February 12, 2010 10:15 pm

The House followed the Senate tonight in passing a bill giving the state insurance commissioner authority that could allow him to create an insurance pool for businesses in the Green River Valley that need flood insurance.

If the system were created, insurance policyholders all over the state could be on the hook if the valley floods.

Rep. Tina Orwall said businesses that employ 86,000 people in the area are threatened by not knowing what might happen over the coming years, as federal engineers fix the leaking abutment that has left a chink in the armor of the Howard Hanson Dam.

“How do these businesses continue in this tough economic time when they have so much uncertainty?” she said.

House Republican Leader Richard DeBolt said it’s an example of the state helping King County while overlooking rural areas “almost like they’re expendable.”

The House passed the bill 66-30 shortly before 10 p.m. in their last action of the day. First, they overhauled it with an amendment passed by Rep. Steve Kirby.

He said the amendment would make it more like the version passed by the Senate that has a $250 million cap on policies issued by the pool, including $5 million for any one policy. Kirby said the changes would make Gov. Chris Gregoire more likely to sign the bill.

*
The News Tribune now uses Facebook commenting on selected blogs. See editor's column for more details. Commenters are expected to abide by terms of service for Facebook as well as commenting rules for thenewstribune.com. Report violators to webmaster@thenewstribune.com.