Ironically, the one thing that may derail the campus carry bill is insurance. Opponents claim carrying guns on college campuses comes with a significant financial burden to cover the cost of increased insurance premiums. The issue pits the responsibility of universities against the second amendments rights of students. Houston Community College reports its insurance would be raised as much as $120,000 per year. However, the author of the bill says no such increase has occurred in other states that do allow concealed weapons on campus.
Acreage larger than the state of Rhode Island has been devastated in Texas after wildfires burned insistently across the state.
Over 240 homes have burned completely with 8,500 more being in danger. The vast majority of wildfires emerge with two miles of a community. It’s not just a rural problem.
To illustrate the danger, the large fire Austin this week occurred because a homeless man left a campfire burning at two o’clock in the afternoon on a scorching day to get a beer. When he returned, over 15 homes had been torched.
Thus, even though the focus on homeowners’ insurance reform has currently been on the coastal property owners, all Texans must remember that we are at risk from a variety of catastrophes.
It stands to reason that if inland residents must pay actuarially sound rates for their risk to wildfires and tornados, then coastal residents should bear their own risks of living with the potential of hurricane landfalls.
The Texas Department of Insurance Sunset bill was voted out of committee a couple of weeks ago. It defines the department’s us of regulatory tools, requires automobile and homeowner claims information reporting, requires the Commissioner to evaluate title rat information, repeals 15 advisory committees from the law, and authorizes the continuation of the department for 12 more years. The changes are meant to reflect more transparency and accountability within TDI.
Commissioner Geeslin has already announced his pending retirement, presumably to occur after the session. Thus, if the bill can pass through the chambers without a plethora of amendments, it will serve as primarily a re-authorization bill rather than one producing significant reform. Any real change will then be left to the new Commissioner.
Until next week,
Julie Drenner, Texas Director