U.S. Senator Mark Begich today chaired a hearing on the oversight of Hurricane Sandy Relief efforts in New Jersey and New York and continued to push for relief from rising flood insurance rates.
Many Alaskans share a common concern with victims of Hurricane Sandy--the increasing cost of flood insurance due to the passage of the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012. Sen. Begich is co-sponsoring legislation that will stop FEMA from continuing to raise flood insurance rates until they complete an affordability study that was required as part of the Biggert-Waters legislation.
"We are dealing with a piece of legislation that was crafted with a good intent but had unintended consequences," said Sen. Begich. "We are working to fix the legislation so that we don't unnecessarily burden people who are trying to rebuild their lives after a disaster and so that homeowner flood insurance in affected areas is still reasonably priced."
Sen. Begich invited all four senators from New York and New Jersey to participate in the hearing, who also discussed the dramatic increases in flood insurance in their states.
Testifying at the hearing was Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Shaun L. S. Donovan, Deputy Secretary of Transportation John D. Porcari, Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator W. Craig Fugate, Assistant Secretary of the Army Jo-Ellen Darcy, Chair of the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board Kathleen S. Tighe, and Deputy Mayor of Operations for the City of New York Cas F. Holloway.
Sen. Begich chairs the Senate Homeland Security's Subcommittee on Emergency Management, Intergovernmental Relations and the District of Columbia. A video recording of the hearing can be found here.