State lawmakers look into flood insurance rate hikes

BATON ROUGE (AP) — Louisiana lawmakers are being urged to reach out to their colleagues in other states, to draw more attention

to dramatic rate increases in flood insurance costs around the nation.

Don Cravins, chief of staff for U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu, urged members of the House and Senate insurance committees Wednesday

to band together with lawmakers in other affected states, to pressure Congress to lessen the skyrocketing rates.

The rates charged through the National Flood

Insurance Program are slated to rise steeply for many homeowners around

the country,

including Louisiana, as part of a bipartisan overhaul of the

program passed by Congress last year to cut the federal government's

costs.

About 500,000 Louisiana homes and businesses have federal flood insurance. Officials around Louisiana have warned the rate

hikes could devastate local economies.