Albany, NY– State Senator Michael H. Ranzenhofer (R-C-I, Amherst) has issued the following statement:

     Senator Elaine Phillips (R-Manhasset) announced Senate passage of legislation she sponsored to restore Nassau County’s property tax abatement program for seniors.  The program, which helps eligible seniors save money on their property taxes, expired at the end of 2016.


Urging the New York State Congressional delegation to support the passage of H.R. 4107, Flood Insurance Transparency and Accountabil...

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LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION urging the New York State Congressional deleg-
ation to support the passage of H.R. 4107, Flood Insurance Transparency
and Accountability Act of 2015

WHEREAS, After Superstorm Sandy victims faced an extensive, burdensome
and fraud-ridden flood insurance claims process; U.S. Senator Kirsten
Gillibrand and U.S. Representative Kathleen Rice have announced their
push for new bipartisan legislation to require more transparency and
accountability from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) so
that home and property owners who carry flood insurance policies are
better protected in the event of another storm; and
WHEREAS, Senator Gillibrand and Congresswoman Rice also renewed their
push for FEMA to expedite its review of insurance claims, a process that
began only after the revelation that insurance companies underpaid
potentially thousands of claims; and
WHEREAS, Senator Gillibrand states that over three years after Super-
storm Sandy tore through New York, communities are still rebuilding and
families are still fighting to put their lives back together; she
further states that it is unacceptable that some New Yorkers were forced
to face a burdensome and fraud-ridden flood insurance claims process;
WHEREAS, The system needs to be reformed and requires more transparen-
cy to hold FEMA accountable so homeowners are protected when the next
storm hits; and
WHEREAS, This new bipartisan legislation would create unprecedented
oversight over FEMA and hold them accountable; legitimate claims were
denied or underpaid because of fraudulent engineering reports, and home-
owners who paid for flood insurance were left feeling cheated by a
program they trusted to be there when they needed it most; and
WHEREAS, H.R. 4107 is a critical first step that will reform the
National Flood Insurance Program to make it more transparent, more
accountable, and more focused on victims' needs; the passage of this
vital bill will help to ensure that victims get the support and funding
they need to fully recover from natural disasters; and
WHEREAS, Many New Yorkers feel they were severely underpaid after
paying years, even decades of flood insurance premiums, only to find
themselves denied for things such as earth movement, vast amounts of red
tape and accusations of fraud, believed to have led to these underpay-
ments; and
WHEREAS, It is essential that residents have flood insurance that is
affordable, reliable and is there to support their needs, not create an
adversarial situation that takes them years to collect their rightful
awards; and
WHEREAS, According to court records and extensive news reports,
including a devastating months-long investigation by "60 Minutes,"
private insurance companies appeared to have denied flood insurance
claims of countless homeowners affected by Superstorm Sandy based on
fraudulently altered engineering reports; and
WHEREAS, While more than three years have passed since the storm hit,
more than 17,000 claims are still under review; the Flood Insurance
Transparency and Accountability Act of 2015 would require more transpar-
ency so property owners have access to the documents related to their
insurance claims case, including draft reports; it would also demand
accountability from FEMA in its oversight of the NFIP and the contrac-
tors hired to run it; and
WHEREAS, Specifically, the legislation would do the following: make
documents related to the basis for deciding flood insurance claims tran-

sparent for homeowners; create a direct point of contact at FEMA for
homeowners who have filed appeals with FEMA for claims that have been
initially denied; require FEMA to conduct yearly reviews of the "Write
Your Own" insurance companies and other private entities working with
flood insurance claims; require FEMA to publish claims data online;
remove the "earth movement" exclusion; reform the claim appeals process;
change the statute of limitations on all flood insurance claims; and
require FEMA and Homeland Security to report to Congress; now, there-
fore, be it
RESOLVED, That the New York State Congressional delegation be and
hereby is respectfully memorialized by this Legislative Body to support
the passage of H.R. 4107, Flood Insurance Transparency and Accountabil-
ity Act of 2015; and be it further
RESOLVED, That copies of this Resolution, suitably engrossed, be tran-
smitted to each member of the Congressional delegation from the State of
New York.


  • 23 / Jan / 2017
  • 09 / May / 2017

Resolution Details

Law Section:
Resolutions, Legislative