N.Y. Assemblyman Seeks to Build Coalition to Fix ‘Broken’ NFIP

September 30, 2015

New York State Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder (D – Rockaway Beach) is reaching out to congressional representatives in Mississippi and Louisiana communities hardest hit by Hurricane Katrina in 2005 to encourage collaboration on reforming the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

Goldfeder announced on Sept. 14 that he has sent letters to Reps. Steve Scalise (R-La.), Steven Palazzo (R-Miss.), Cedric Richmond (D-La.), Ralph Abraham (R-La.) and Garret Graves (R-La.). In the correspondence, Goldfeder requested meetings to discuss potential fixes to NFIP at a time when the federal program finds itself $24 billion in debt.

Goldfeder indicated that he has already spoken with legislative aids for Scalise and Richmond during a visit early September to Washington to discuss flood insurance reform with members of the New York delegation.

Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder (right) discusses flood insurance reform with David Coffield, an aide to Rep. Steve Scalise, at the congressman’s Washington, D.C., office.

The assemblyman emphasized similar experiences of Katrina and Superstorm Sandy victims in dealing with a myriad of issues including post-disaster insurance payouts, FEMA’s policy of recoupment, and rising flood insurance premiums.

“Families in southern Queens and Rockaway were utterly devastated during Sandy,” said Goldfeder, who is a member of the New York State Assembly Committee on Insurance.

“But, the crushing bureaucracy and harmful policies of FEMA and the NFIP made us victims two times over. Sadly, few understand this as well as Katrina-devastated communities in Louisiana and Mississippi,” he said. “That’s why I’ve reached out to congressional leaders in both states to ask for their support and expertise in fixing the broken NFIP and creating lasting flood insurance reform to benefit our families moving forward.”

“Our broken flood insurance system affects families all across the country. With each new disaster, the problem grows and the need for reform becomes more pressing,” he said.

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