Slabbed Daily Weekend Edition June 20/21. Dang its hot!

With no rain in sight either. My sprinklers have received quite a workout of late. Since I have a few minutes here are some news links I’ve been squirreling away. First up is our own Gene Taylor appears in several places today in the news. First up is an article from the Journal of South Mississippi Business on HR 1264 which contains extensive quotes from Brian Martin of Gene’s staff. The article was evidently written before Janet Napolitano’s letter in oopposition to Barney Frank was released.

“The current system that we have, the private insurance company or the Mississippi wind pool covers the wind. The federal government covers the flood, but it is sold by the private company. In the case of Katrina, the flood insurance program allowed the adjuster for the insurance company to go out and handle the flood claim and the wind claim. Well, there is an inherent conflict of interest when the insurance company is deciding if it is flooding that the tax payers are going to pay for or if it is wind damage that my company is going to pay for.”

After Katrina, Martin said, many of the insurance companies paid the flood insurance right away but left the wind claim open and basically forced people to litigate.

It continues to haunt the Coast.

“It is a huge issue and it has really hindered development across the board on residential construction,” said John Ruble, a member of the Home Builders Association of the Mississippi Coast. “A lot of people qualify for the note, but when they figure their taxes, the ad valorem taxes and the insurance, particularly the wind insurance, the numbers are no longer manageable.”

Ruble said that not having affordable wind coverage hurts low and middle income people the most. He said that some companies will write wind coverage for people with expensive homes who also write auto and other insurance with the same carrier, but people with less expensive homes often are unable to find affordable wind insurance.

“This not only affects residential construction but also commercial construction,” Ruble said. “If you ride up and down the beach, you do not see strip centers going in along Eisenhower Drive or where you used to see these strip centers where you have traffic count because by the time they build the building and try to insure it, what they have to charge by the square foot to amortize the building, the tenants cannot afford it because they can’t afford the insurance on it.”

I also found Gene in the news, this time in Politico. (h/t Alan Lange):

Democratic opposition to a controversial climate change bill has House Speaker Nancy Pelosi fishing for votes in the most unfriendly of waters: the House Republican caucus.

Pelosi, Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman and Rep. Ed Markey met with 11 moderate House Republicans on Thursday, hoping to pick up enough votes to get the bill passed by the middle of next month.

“Generally, they only talk to us when they need something,” said Mark Kirk, a Republican from Illinois, who told Pelosi that he feared the bill would raise costs in his coal-dependent district.

Members, aides and journalists crowded outside Pelosi’s offices Thursday as a revolving door of key lawmakers ducked in and out of meetings between votes. Soon after the Republicans exited, House Agricultural Committee Chairman Collin Peterson lumbered into the speaker’s office to discuss his concerns about the climate bill. Peterson and other moderate Democrats are threatening to marshal nearly 50 “no” votes unless changes are made to protect farmers and rural consumers.

“It’s just dumb idea on top of dumb idea, in my opinion,” bill opponent Rep. Gene Taylor (D-Miss.) said as he lingered outside Pelosi’s office. “I fail to see the merits of it.” Continue reading “Slabbed Daily Weekend Edition June 20/21. Dang its hot!”