Earthquake Foundation Shaken by Calif. Legislators

May 4, 2000

A state Senate panel voted Wednesday to bar California’s insurance commissioner from ever again allowing insurance companies to avoid fines by contributing to nonprofit foundations.

The Senate Insurance Committee approved by an 8-0 vote to submit a bill to the full Senate that would prevent future tradeoffs similar to those undertaken by current Insurance Commissioner Chuck Quackenbush.

The commissioner has admitted to allowing at least four insurance companies to avoid $3.3 billion in fines for allegedly underpaying claims during the 1994 Northridge earthquake. Quackenbush’s legal team recommended the fines.

No time line has been slated for presenting the state’s Senate with such a bill. Meanwhile, investigations into Quackenbush’s involvement in the issue continue.

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