Insurance Commissioner's authority under attack (again)

And nobody seems to know where the attack came from:

Senator Katie Dorsett co-chairs the subcommittee that wrote that section of the budget. “I do not know where it originated. It came to our committee. We included it. And I was not aware of it."

One level up, the lead budget writers didn’t know much more about the provision than Dorsett or Atwater did. Garrou, Albertson, Swindell – no one could explain it. “I know that it was put in there to try to structure the insurance ratemaking the same way you would do with utilities and other things,” Swindell said. “But I’m not sure, on the dotted line, who it was that suggested that.”

And up we go:

The controversial provision was removed shortly thereafter, part of a technical amendment that was one of only two amendments offered in Approps. Just after that, Senate leader Marc Basnight announced the provision had come from his office. But he said it was a mistake: “I didn’t even know it was in there.”

Basnight represents thousands of coastal homeowners who are angry about rising insurance rates, and Commissioner Goodwin is the target of their wrath. “He worked us up real good in the 20 coastal counties when they stuck it to us with the rate increases.” According to Basnight, the rate hikes were neither fair nor warranted by risk or storm history.

Basnight and other coastal lawmakers have been working on a proposal to set up an independent panel that would set property insurance rates for the 20 coastal counties. He says that’s the only way they can get fair treatment. Goodwin would still control rates in the other 80 NC counties.

According to Basnight, he intended to run it as a separate measure, but his general counsel Beth Braswell mistakenly sent the language to the budget committee instead. “No, no,” Basnight insisted. “I never wanted that in there. That is my fault. Which is obvious I didn’t want it in – the minute I saw that it was in, I said, ‘Take it out!’”

I have to say, our RadioGirl (Laura Leslie) sure has her finger on the pulse of the GA. I'm even more impressed with her than usual, and I'm usually pretty damned impressed. I better stop before I start gushing, but, you know. "I'm not worthy!"

And as for our Leader and any of his upset beach dwellers who might be reading this: Wayne is not only a straight-shooter who has continued his honorable predecessor's legacy of saving the citizens of North Carolina millions of dollars, he's also one of us, a BlueNC blogger. If this bullshit continues, he won't be standing alone. That is all.



You better believe it!

We've got your back Wayne!

And yours too, RadioGrrl.

King Basnight has no clothes

Boy, you get a glimpse into how things really happen in the NC Senate and you get a migraine headache. Yuck.


Wow, it just seems like there are more and more secrets being kept than truth being told. I wonder if our leaders will ever come to the realization of just who they work for. Thanks for sharing.

Thanks very much!

Seems like this sort of thing always happens at the very end of the budget process, when we're too busy covering the big picture to talk about how provisions got into it. But this time it happened early on. Thanks so much for all your kind words. I'm glad you liked it!

Laura Leslie
blogger/reporter for WRAL @NCCapitol
Former Barkeep of Isaac Hunter's Tavern

Thanks for doing

what you do, Laura. You've helped us understand many things about our government that would have remained ambiguous and enigmatic in your absence.

Thank you for the strong support!

And, also check out a detailed link on this subject over here at "Wayne's World" ... Maybe tonight or tomorrow BlueNC will get a separate post. For now, though, I've got consumers to protect as I head from home to an interview!

Thanks for the link, Wayne

When you get a chance, come back and fill us in.