A Louisiana Senate committee last week slightly altered a bill to revise the state’s building code, and another panel voted to require insurance companies to give discounts to homeowners who renovate their homes to meet the code.
The Senate’s commerce committee on June 13 approved a bill by Rep. Gil Pinac, D-Crowley, to prevent the state construction code council – which oversees implementation of the code – from expanding the standards spelled out in law. Lawmakers have gotten complaints that the council was toughening the standards.
The measure goes to the full Senate.
The Senate Insurance Committee approved a bill by House Speaker Joe Salter to require that insurers offer “actuarially justified discounts” – cost breaks – to homeowners who build or renovate homes to the code’s standards, to make them more resistant to high winds in hurricanes or tropical storms.
The bill would direct the commissioner of insurance to draft rules for the credits. The commissioner’s office would have to have the rules in place by Jan. 1.
The bill by Salter, D-Florien, is one of a handful of insurance bills backed by Gov. Kathleen Blanco. It also goes to the full Senate.
The commerce panel also deleted a provision from Pinac’s bill that would allow licensed contractors to inspect homes, leaving inspections to architects and engineers. The House had amended the bill to allow the contractors to do the inspections as long as they did not inspect their own work.
House Bills 558 and 704 are at http://legis.state.la.us/.
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