By Brandon Ross
May 10 — A bill that would give more money to states that adopt and enforce strict building codes was introduced May 10.
Reps. Carlos Curbelo (R-Fla.) and Albio Sires (D-N.J.) are sponsoring the National Mitigation Investment Act of 2016 (H.R. 5177), an attempt to curb the amount the nation spends on disaster recovery by increasing funds for safer residential and commercial structures.
The legislation, while similar to bills introduced in previous Congresses, is the first proposal to offer specific funds to states to hire building code inspectors. The inspectors would document that communities are being built up to par to qualify for additional funding.
Insurance industry reaction to the bill was positive, as buildings that are more resilient would figure to translate into smaller and fewer claims.
“The National Mitigation Investment Act is vitally important to our nation, not only for the policies it implements, but for what it represents,” Jimi Grande, senior vice president of federal and political affairs for the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies (NAMIC), said in a press release.
NAMIC and others groups, including the BuildStrong Coalition of insurers, architects, engineers and first responders, have long criticized the way the nation financially addresses natural catastrophes. They say lawmakers want to appear frugal and therefore don't budget enough money for mitigation—but wind up approving post-disaster spending that the groups say is four times higher than preventative measures (124 DER, 6/29/15).
“This legislation is a fundamental change from the ‘wait and hope' policy that has left communities vulnerable to natural disasters to a proactive strategy that seeks to prevent losses from happening in the first place,” Grande said.
Grande said the legislation would “reform federal disaster policy by creating incentives for states that adopt and enforce modernized residential and commercial building codes. The act will also authorize a first-of-its-kind pilot program that will provide grants to states and localities to defray the costs that often prohibit the enforcement of more resilient residential codes.”
The bill calls on the National Advisory Council to study the costs of natural disaster damages, understand how disaster aid is being used and suggest steps to take before a crisis hits.
The bill comes after the White House proposed cutting certain FEMA disaster mitigation program funding nearly in half earlier this year, a move that troubled underwriters (See previous story, 02/23/16).
To contact the reporter on this story: Brandon Ross in Washington at email@example.com
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Heather Rothman at firstname.lastname@example.org
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)