Edwards Vetoes Tort Reform Bill Aimed At Lowering Car Insurance Rates
Governor John Bel Edwards vetoed a tort reform bill that was widely supported by legislators who were hoping lower car insurance premiums in the state. A statement on the Governor's veto of SB418 said, "...it is neither a compromise nor a mandate to decrease auto insurance rates in Louisiana. Not a single insurance company testified in committee that SB 418 would reduce rates."
The bill authored by State Senator Kirk Talbot (R) was criticized because the final version included several amendments that were added after reported negotiations between Talbot and Governor Edwards. Shortly after the bill was passed by the legislature and sent to the Governor's desk, State Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon told KPEL News that he did not believe the bill would have the intended effect on insurance prices.
Republicans in the House have the votes to override the Governor's veto, but in recent weeks, the GOP leadership has been cautious to say if they would use that power for this particular bill.
Louisiana leads the nation in car insurance premiums. Some estimates put the average cost of automobile insurance in the state 55% higher than the rest of the nation.
The following list of vetoed bills was sent out by the Governor's Office.
HB 197 Gov. Edwards has vetoed HB 197 for two reasons. First, because Louisiana is in a constant state of emergency and there would likely never be a time when the lesser penalty is in effect. Secondly, the term “water control structure” is ill-defined in the bill.
HB 313 Gov. Edwards has vetoed HB 313 because such a change in the Single Business Enterprise Document could make it more difficult for creditors to pursue their claims and could inadvertently hurt small businesses, independent contractors, investors and pension funds in Louisiana.
HB 562 Gov. Edwards vetoed HB 562 because it is an unnecessary restriction that would limit the ability of state agencies to properly respond to events that may develop over a budget year, such as natural disasters.
HB 597 Gov. Edwards vetoed HB 597 because it would overrule the jurisprudential presumption of causation established by Housley v. Cerise (1991).
SB 132 Gov. Edwards has vetoed SB 132. SB 132’s requirement that the Joint Legislative Committee on the Budget approve any contract or cooperative endeavor agreement with a value greater than or equal to $25 million violates Article 2, Section 2 of the Louisiana Constitution that requires legislative approval of a purely executive branch function.
SB 395 Gov. Edwards has vetoed SB 395 for two reasons. First, since SB 115 is now signed, the enactment of SB 395 would lead to confusion and duplication. Secondly, there is a significant difference between SB 115 and SB 395 that raises questions of constitutionality.
SB 406 Gov. Edwards has vetoed SB 406. Gov. Edwards vetoed SB 406 because in its final form, the legislation prohibits an electric cooperative from providing broadband in serviced areas and at the same time requires an electric cooperative that provides broadband service in an unserved area to give other broadband service providers nondiscriminatory access to its electronic delivery system.
SB 418 Gov. Edwards vetoed SB 418 because it is neither a compromise nor a mandate to decrease auto insurance rates in Louisiana. Not a single insurance company testified in committee that SB 418 would reduce rates.