2014-01-10 / Editorial/Opinion

What Is Cuomo Smoking

Hey, Governor Cuomo, it’s going to take more than medical marijuana to ease the pain caused by the Biggert-Waters Act if it is allowed to be implemented as is. We haven’t seen much of you since Sandy. And come to think of it, we haven’t heard anything from you about devastating flood insurance premiums.

What gives?

Yes, Biggert-Waters is a federal act. So what. Where’s your advocacy? Got ideas about it? Where’s your leadership?

Governors from other states are yelling about it, demanding Congress delay and amend the legislation. Attorneys General in other states are suing. What are you doing?

Maybe you just want Mother Nature to get rid of us. Well, governor, maybe you’re the one who’s smoking something because we’re not going anywhere. If you think twenty or thirty thousand dollars a year is a reasonable insurance premium, let us know. At least, we’ll know where you stand. If you think it’s a threat to communities across the state, then what are you waiting for?

You need cover? Well, here you go:

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for Congress. Often called the "congressional watchdog," GAO investigates how the federal government spends taxpayer dollars.

The GAO looked at the Biggert-Waters Act and found: FEMA officials acknowledged that they have challenges to resolve. These include …determining the fair market value of insured properties, and developing a definition of severe repetitive loss for multifamily properties. Further, FEMA must establish full-risk rates that reflect flood risk for active policies that no longer are eligible for subsidies; but it does not have a plan to do so.

GAO continues to support its previous recommendations made to FEMA that focus on the need to address management and operational challenges, ensure that the methods and data used to set NFIP rates accurately reflect the risk of losses from flooding, and that oversight of NFIP and insurance companies responsible for selling and servicing flood policies is strengthened. FEMA agreed with these recommendations and is taking steps to address them.

The congressional watchdog says FEMA needs fixing. You need more than that?

Come on, Governor, what are you waiting for? What are you smoking?

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