Pa. Rep. Seeks Emergency Aid Law with Flood Subsidies

September 7, 2005

Pennsylvania State Rep. Peter J. Daley, D-Washington/ Fayette, is planning on introducing a bill to provide flood insurance premium subsidies and other small disaster relief to homeowners, small businesses and municipalities to address catastrophic losses that do not affect a large enough population to receive federal disaster assistance.

“In the wake of the residual effects of hurricanes in the past few years that have dumped many inches of rain over Pennsylvania, causing widespread flooding, this bill makes sense to assist those who may not have sufficient coverage,” Daley said. “My bill would encourage people to purchase their normal homeowner’s coverage, and it would not create a state pot of disaster money that the federal government could require to be used first in any disaster.”

The Small Disaster Assistance portion of Daley’s legislation would subsidize the flood insurance premiums of any homeowner or small business with less than 25 employees in a 100-year flood plain at a level significant enough to encourage all those eligible to enroll. It would further subsidize the premiums of homeowners and renters within the 100-year flood plain and with household incomes less than 200 percent of the poverty level.

Daley’s proposal calls for funding to purchase a statewide insurance policy to cover damages by surface waters to residential and small business properties outside the 100-year flood plain (on the assumption that this would be cheaper than subsidizing premiums for all properties outside the flood plains).

Finally, his bill would include a grant of emergency powers to the governor to intervene in physical, social, or economic emergencies to suspend state laws, including state fuel and gasoline taxes, for a 60-day period.

Daley is currently seeking co-sponsors and said he will introduce the bill this fall.

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