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W. Va. House Focuses on Future Disasters With Proposed Legislation

Aaron Payne
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

As the legislature continues to work on how to deal with the effects of the chemical spill, the House of Delegates looked at proposed legislation dealing with future disasters in terms of preparedness and flood insurance.

The House Committee on Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security discussed House Bill 4147. The bill deals with what can be done in a State of Preparedness.

A State of Preparedness is similar to a State of Emergency except the oncoming disaster or event has been foreseen for some time. The most recent example was all the resources put towards the influx of people arriving in West Virginia for the Boy Scout Jamboree.

The bill would allow the following:

-    The emergency powers granted to the governor under a State of Emergency to also be granted
-    Apply the part of the Consumer Protection act that prevents vendors from raising prices on necessities during a State of Emergency


The bill was approved and moved on to the Judiciary Committee.

The floor session also put some focus on disasters with House Concurrent Resolution 42, asking Congress to revisit the "Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012." The new federal law changes the way the National Flood Insurance Program is run.

Delegate Randy Swartzmiller of Hancock County feels that financial burden is put on those inland of beachfront houses rebuilt with insurance money after being destroyed in hurricanes.

“Under this Act, what they’re saying is you don’t get the advantages of the beach front property, but they want to spread the cost around to us,” Swartzmiller said.

The resolution was adopted and will now head to the Senate.