Texas Windstorm Insurance Bill One Vote Short in Texas Senate

Legislation that would have financially stabilized the agency that controls windstorm insurance is dead for this session.

The bill would have helped the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association to acquire the funds necessary to be able cover all the claims that would come if a catastrophic storm were to hit the state.

"It's not a good way to govern," said Foster Edwards, CEO of the Corpus Christi Chamber of Commerce. "This was a good bill for Texas, and it's sad that it failed."

Edwards is one of the those who helped write and promote the legislation. The group included State Representative Todd Hunter and State Senator Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa.

Edwards said a preliminary vote that would have allowed the bill to be considered by state senators failed by a single vote. They needed 21, and got 20.  Word is, Senator Judith Zafirini, who represents part of San Patricio County, was the only senator from a Coastal Bend area who voted against it.

Edwards said the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association is in better shape financially than last year, but still may not have the funds to cover the claims from a truly catastrophic storm. He said they always knew it would be a tough sell.

"It's an uphill battle, and we have to realize that, because it's 14 counties against the rest of the state, and the fact that we got within one vote, if you want to look at it that way, we did pretty well," Edwards said. "But we didn't get there."

Edwards said that the legislation would have required inland counties to help cover the cost of storms that exceeded $2.5 billion in claims. Even though the bill is dead for this session, he said they are not giving up, and will try again next session. The current legislative session ends on May 27.


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