BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – Louisiana lawmakers advanced a bill aimed at putting money towards drawing in insurance companies to write policies. Slight changes were made to the requirements some legislators want to put on who takes the money.
The Senate Finance Committee made some changes to the bill by taking off the amendments that were put on it on the house floor and promised to put it on HB2. Their fear is that any legal action could slow up the use of the incentive fund.
In the narrow call of the special session, some lawmakers fear the amendments that put requirements on the insurance companies looking to use the grants could be challenged in the courts. HB2 that is carried by Rep. John Stefanski restricts any companies or directors who have previously gone insolvent from qualifying for the incentive. The house amendments are to be put on that bill so HB1 will leave the legislature in its original form.
“If in any way, shape, or form this is going to prohibit this from working by virtue of judicial intervention or whatever, we are not going to allow that to happen,” said Senate President Page Cortez.
One of those amendments required the companies utilizing the grant to take 25 percent of their new policies from Louisiana Citizens. Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon is confident the amendment is not needed to have the companies take people off of Citizens.
“I am totally convinced more than 25 percent, more than 50 percent in my opinion, will come out of Citizens because that is the most expensive coverage that’s out there for companies to access…to start their clock running toward that 5 year requirement,” Donelon said.
It is not clear if that will tie things up on the house side when they have to approve the senate amendments. The joint insurance committees will meet Friday to talk about the rules of the incentive fund.
Then, the full senate will be debating this bill for its final passage and to potentially shore up the special session.