Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Sink calls for changes to fix national flood insurance problem

Democrat Alex Sink criticized her opponent’s plan.

Democrat Alex Sink criticized her opponent’s plan.

ST. PETERSBURG — Standing in a neighborhood with residents awash with worry over flood insurance rates, Democratic congressional candidate Alex Sink called for changes to a controversial new law.

Sink, in the Northeast Park neighborhood, said Congress should stop the sharp increases in flood insurance rates that are creating havoc in the local real estate market.

She also said the Federal Emergency Management Agency should complete mapping and affordability studies that show the impact of the fundamental changes Congress made to the National Flood Insurance program. FEMA also needs to work harder to clarify how it comes up with flood insurance rates and make sure there is a good process for people who wish to appeal their rate changes, she said.

"I don't know what the people of FEMA were thinking," she said Tuesday, "but they had to know that these so-called unintended consequences were going to be a huge concern for people who own homes like you see right here in this neighborhood."

Northeast Park Neighborhood Association president Scott Willis said he has been told that flood insurance for area homes could rise from $2,000 per year to as much as $8,000 to $10,000 annually.

Sink said she developed flood insurance expertise while working as Florida's statewide chief financial officer, and said she also has a track record of working across party lines to get things done. She said she's in a much better position to tackle this problem than her Republican opponent, David Jolly.

Jolly has called for a nationwide program that would pool risks for homeowners facing the threat of tornadoes, volcanoes and other natural disasters, not just flooding. Sink criticized the idea, saying such a complicated program could take years to push through Congress.

"It sounds like Alex is suggesting she's not up to the job," Jolly responded later, adding that he was not going to be "resigned to a broken Congress."

Jolly, Sink and Libertarian candidate Lucas Overby are candidates in the March 11 special election to succeed longtime Republican U.S. Rep. C.W. Bill Young, who died in October. They are running in the 13th Congressional District, which extends from south Pinellas to Dunedin, with portions of downtown and southern St. Petersburg cut out.

Sink's news conference came on the same day the Democratic Congressional Campaign launched a negative campaign commercial against Jolly, criticizing his background as a lobbyist. In response, Jolly said it was "exactly the type of politics we expected and exactly the type of politics we're running against."

Meanwhile, the Jolly campaign released an internal poll that showed 43 percent of district voters support Jolly, compared to 38 percent for Sink and 4 percent for Overby. Fifteen percent were undecided. The poll had a margin of error of 4.9 percent.

Sink calls for changes to fix national flood insurance problem 01/21/14 [Last modified: Tuesday, January 21, 2014 10:38pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Clearwater man hospitalized after diving from boat into shallow waters

    Public Safety

    A 49-year-old man was hospitalized with life-threatening injuries Sunday after he jumped off a pontoon boat into shallow waters in the Gulf of Mexico.

  2. Restaurant review: Features Gastropub in Riverview is fine as movie theater fare, but unimpressive otherwise

    Food & Dining

    By Laura Reiley

    Times Food Critic

    Movies aren't exactly dying. Despite all the sturm und drang of predictions that Netflix and streaming videos would kill the cinema, global box office receipts hit $38.6 billion in 2016, a 1 percent gain over the previous year. But that doesn't mean going to the …

  3. JFK's last birthday: Gifts, champagne and wandering hands on the presidential yacht

    Nation

    It has been 100 years since John F. Kennedy's birth on May 29, 1917, at his parents' home in Brookline, Mass., just outside Boston. Over the course of his life, Kennedy enjoyed lavish birthday celebrations, the most famous being a Democratic fundraising bash at Madison Square Garden on May 19, 1962, when a sequined …

    President John F. Kennedy aboard the Sequoia in 1963 opening birthday presents. [Robert Knudsen | John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum]
  4. 1 in 4 Florida adults aren't registered to vote, according to non-partisan group

    Legislature

    TALLAHASSEE — Five million people in Florida who are eligible to vote aren't registered, according to a nationwide non-partisan group that helps improve the accuracy of state voter rolls.

    Voters line up in front of the Coliseum Ballroom in St. Petersburg on Nov. 8. A non-partisan group estimates that more than a quarter of Florida's adult-age population isn't registered to vote. [SCOTT KEELER | Tampa Bay Times]
  5. Rays morning after: A lot that went into a marathon win

    Blogs

    Rays manager Kevin Cash had a simple strategy when Fox Sports Sun's Alex Corddry asked him how the team would move on from Sunday's marathon win and get ready to face the Rangers tonight in Texas:

    Kevin Kiermaier of the Rays celebrates as teammate Michael Martinez slides safely into home plate to score a run against the Minnesota Twins during the 14th inning.