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House Fails To Override Governor’s Wind Pool Veto

By Jeffrey Hess | Published 05 Jan 2011 09:41am | comments

The Mississippi House fails to override the Governor's veto on a bill that would have added money to the state's high risk insurance pool. MPB's Jeffrey Hess reports that the so-called wind pool provides insurance for Mississippi homeowners who cannot find it in the private market.

Wednesday, the house fell 12 votes short of the 80 votes it needed to overturn the Governor's veto. The 20-million dollars came from the Hurricane disaster relief fund and would have padded the state's high risk insurance fund called the wind pool.

Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney says wind pool rates have remained fairly stable and this money would not have made a difference.

"The bottom line and I guess the hard reality is, rates are not going to up without the 20-million and they are not going to go down if you had the 20-million," Chaney said.

Some Gulf Coast law makers questioned that judgment claiming that insurance rates are too high.

Representative Johnny Stringer of Montrose voted to override the veto. He says that since the money came from the Hurricane Relief Fund, it should go back into helping the Gulf coast economy recover.

"I felt like this would help it speed but this apparently I feel like this would slow the coast down from people wanting to invest on the Gulf Coast (but can't) because of high rates," Stringer said.

Opponents of the override, like Representative Greg Snowden of Meridian, say that some Mississippians are becoming too dependent on the state subsidized wind insurance.

"But it was never intended to be a permanent subsidy. And we are looking at an additional 20-million dollars. And no one ever answered the question, 'if we do 20-million this year, are we going to put an additional 20-million dollars of taxpayer money in next year?'," Snowden said.

In total, the state has already added nearly 180-million dollars to the wind pool since Hurricane Katrina.




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