February 13, 2007
McCrery, McCollister Join Campaign Team
Last week I was honored to announce that Northwest Louisiana Congressman Jim McCrery will serve as my campaign chair, with Baton Rouge publisher Rolfe McCollister serving as treasurer.
As we prepare for the race for Governor later this year, both Jim and Rolfe offer invaluable experience and will play important and active roles in the campaign to ensure we are successful in October. Jim represents the Fourth Congressional District in Louisiana and serves on the powerful Ways and Means Committee. His expertise in fundamental tax reform, economic growth and making health care more available and affordable will be important in our campaign as we discuss these issues and develop an aggressive plan to move Louisiana forward.
Rolfe, who is president and publisher of Louisiana Business, Inc., which publishes the Greater Baton Rouge Business Report, has been a leader in the business community for years and has a passion for the economic development of our state.
I thought you might enjoy reading an article that was published in the Shreveport Times about the announcement. You can read the article here.
This great announcement came just two days after I let you know of the letter Senator David Vitter released announcing his support for our campaign. These announcements are representative of the growing support we continue to see as we travel across the state. To get involved in our campaign you can sign up to volunteer here.
Tackling our Insurance Crisis
As the rebuilding process following the landfall of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita now hits the 18 month mark, it is becoming increasingly obvious that our current insurance system is incapable of handling catastrophic disasters like the hurricanes of 2005. Too many homeowners and business owners either cannot find insurance coverage or cannot afford the coverage that is available.
In order to fight this disturbing trend, I have worked with my colleagues in Congress in a bipartisan way to introduce two bills that will help insure people from wind and flood damage in future disasters, as well as protect against artificially inflated insurance prices.
The first bill, the Multiple Peril Insurance Act, will create a multiple peril reinsurance program within the National Flood Insurance Program. The new optional program would offer coverage of wind and flood damage in one policy, without requiring policyholders to distinguish wind damage from flood damage. This would not just be limited to hurricanes, but would also offer protection for others around the state if a destructive tornado, like the F3 tornado that hit Olla in North Louisiana back in 2004, were to unexpectedly hit. Louisiana ranks fifth in the nation per square mile on the frequency of tornadoes that hit our state. The federal government aided businesses and individuals struggling to purchase terrorism insurance after September 11th, 2001, and the people along the Gulf Coast deserve the same help.
The second bill will remove the existing exemption from antitrust laws that has frustrated state attempts to regulate the insurance industry and to protect consumers through lower premiums.
With the current antitrust laws, the possibility remains that insurance companies can collude to set prices. The last thing our residents need is for insurance companies to set rates artificially high, and by giving the state more oversight, we can remove this as a possibility.
Meeting with Ouachita Delegation
Last week I had the opportunity to meet with delegation members from Ouachita Parish who were on Capitol Hill to reaffirm support for some important projects, such as the Greater Ouachita Port and the ULM School of Pharmacy.
Our meeting allowed me the chance to sit down with these area leaders and share ideas on what we can do to bring economic opportunities not just to Northeast Louisiana, but for the rest of the state as well. I look forward to sharing some of these ideas later as the campaign gets started.
I hope you have a wonderful week, and please feel free to contact my office if we can be of any assistance to you.