AUSTIN (Texas Tribune) - People living along the Texas Coast have endured a nearly 50-percent hike in windstorm insurance rates over the last ten years.
During the current legislative session, many are hoping lawmakers will find a way to reign in those costs. On Tuesday, lawmakers filed four bills seeking to overhaul the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association.
Alana Rocha with the Texas Tribune gave us the details of that effort from Austin.
Lawmakers in both chambers filed bills to make it more affordable to live along the coast. Mayors from cities along the coastline each took turns on the mic to rally support for sweeping reforms of the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association.
TWIA has been a focus of the past two legislative sessions, with lawmakers making changes to how it is funded, eligibility requirements, claims processes and agency transparency. This time, area leaders say they are centering their efforts on rate control, adding more coastal residents to sit on TWIA's board of directors and ensuring catastrophe preparedness.
Rep. Todd Hunter, a Republican out of Corpus Christi, filed three bills that would revamp the system. Democrat Sen. Juan 'Chuy' Hinojosa from McAllen is sponsoring a companion bill in the upper chamber. Those who helped draft the legislation say it took several months to agree on a plan.
"It's just complicated. It's not alarming at all. It's just a complicated issue," said Foster Edwards of the Corpus Christi Chamber of Commerce. "You know, there's a lot of money involved. There's a lot of people involved. There's a lot of different interests involved. So the fact that it took us a long time to get there is not a concern."
Leaders at the rally went into meetings with Governor Rick Perry, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and Speaker Joe Straus to lay out the legislation.
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