Hear Supervisor Knabe Describe Successful Advocacy Efforts to Remove Forced Flood Insurance Text From Fed'l Bill; They Came "Down to the Wire"; He Describes What Took Place...And Advises Continued Vigilance
|(June 29, 2012) -- Efforts came "down to the wire" to remove a section of an advancing federal flood insurance bill that could have forced many low flood-risk homeowners and commercial property owners in parts of Long Beach and southeastern L.A. County to buy costly "flood insurance each year...and received important support from Senator Dianne Feinstein (D., CA) and directly involved advocacy by L.A. County Supervisor Don Knabe, the veteran public official told LBReport.com.
In a telephone conversation just hours after the Senate and House of Representatives voted for a final version of a flood insurance bill from which the problematic provision had been removed, Supervisor Knabe said he had been on the phone personally, speaking to Senators and their Chiefs of Staff. He said Senator Feinstein had been very helpful...and acknowledged that the successful outcome had come down to the wire. He said he was pleased with the result but also advised continued vigilance on the issue.
To hear Supervisor Knabe and quick Q & A, click here. (MP3, total running time approx. seven minutes).
As previously reported by LBReport.com, LB City Manager West credited Mayor Bob Foster and the Council's Federal Legislative Committee along with city staff [point person was Tom Modica, Director of Government Affairs]. City Manager West said the City of LB's DC lobbyist, Thane Young from Van Scoyoc Associates, had marshalled "the national efforts to strike these provisions from the bill, working directly over the past few days with key Senators to remove the language."
If the flood insurance bill had passed the Senate with text that was included as recently as just days earlier, it could have allowed the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) -- for the first time -- to require residential home owners and commercial property owners (with mortgages/loans on their properties from federally backed lenders) to buy FEMA-administered "flood insurance" each year in low risk areas ("residual risk"). Those annual premiums (collected by FEMA from low risk areas) would then have been used by the agency to pay for flood damages often far away.
Areas in which residential and commercial property owners could have been required to buy the federally mandated flood insurance (if their properties had mortgages/loans from a federally backed lender) are shown in the shaded areas below.
The Senate version of the bill -- with the mandatory flood insurance language still included -- was endorsed earlier in the week week by the Obama administration's Office of Management and Budget.
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