In this edition of the News of the Week, Greg Abbott shuts down access to information about hazardous chemical facilities, we have tips to get you ready for your summer road trip, OSHA issues a scathing report into a construction worker’s death at Kyle Field, and an Arlington man who had the wrong kidney removed seeks accountability in the courts. (more…)
Families who live and work near hazardous chemical facilities no longer have access to information about the type or amount of dangerous toxics in their community. According to a report by WFAA-TV, Greg Abbott recently issued a legal opinion barring the disclosure of such information despite federal law permitting disclosure and longstanding state practice to make that information available to anyone who requests it.
Abbott’s decision reflects an about-face from proclamations made by other state leaders to beef up disclosure of chemical facilities in the wake of last year’s disastrous explosion of an ammonium nitrate storage facility in West, Texas. (more…)
With school out and vacation days to burn, driving season is upon us. Texas is a big and beautiful state with lots of open road to explore. These tips will help to keep your family safe on your next road trip. (more…)
This week’s installment of News of Week features stories to help Texans prepare for Hurricane season (or anything that could lead to a major insurance claim), insurance companies avoiding their obligations while coastal property owners face higher insurance costs, and evidence of abuse at state and private assisted living centers. (more…)
Hurricane season begins June 1st. Texans along the coast need to prepare for the possibility of having to file a major insurance claim. Same goes for the rest of the state too.
Whether you live on the coast, the Panhandle, or anywhere in between, you need to be prepared for a catastrophic event that results in a claim on your property insurance.
Here are 5 things every Texan needs to do to protect themselves and their property. (more…)
TDI adopted a rule today that imposes a surcharge on home and auto insurance policies in the 14 coastal counties. Thus far, insurers have not been forced to fulfill their legal obligations to cover the final level of financing of Hurricane Ike claims. We reiterate our strong support for requiring private insurance companies to meet their obligations under the law before any additional costs are borne by policyholders.
ORIGINAL POST (3/10/14):
In order to raise funds for the beleaguered Texas Windstorm Insurance Association, regulators at TDI are considering rules to impose a surcharge on property insurance policies sold along the Texas coast. This means higher insurance costs for homeowners and drivers in an area of the state hit hard by sky-high insurance costs (not to mention the severe restrictions on policyholder legal rights if/when the next storm hits).
Instead of putting more of the burden on policyholders, TDI should force private insurance companies to hold up their end of the bargain. Back when Hurricane Ike hit, the law said that insurance companies should bear the burden of the storm’s insured losses. Instead, they’ve been let off the hook while policyholders have been picking up the tab.
The folks at TDI are getting the cart before the horse. In our comments to the agency, we say that before even considering another hike in the cost of insurance, private insurance companies should be forced to fulfill their obligations. (more…)
In this edition of the News of the Week: Senators take testimony on the response to the West disaster, the State Fire Marshal issues a report detailing ways to improve safety after West, nursing home residents face abuse and neglect at an alarming rate with little recourse for repeat offenders, and a video about the importance of class action lawsuits in protecting consumers. (more…)
The disaster last year in West, Texas has put a spotlight on gaping holes in the safety and accountability of industrial facilities that handle and store dangerously toxic materials like ammonium nitrate.
Lawmakers have spent the better part of the last year discussing whether and how to beef up oversight of these facilities, as well as how to ensure accountability if another disaster occurs. This is a public safety issue that requires reasonable and responsible reforms to ensure our communities, schools, and families are protected and are able to rebuild after a catastrophe. We know what the solutions are and they are pretty straight forward: Implement basic safety precautions and construction standards and require facility owners to have meaningful liability insurance so that communities have resources to rebuild. (more…)
Should local authorities be able to police polluters who poison the local water supply? Or should that authority be shipped to bureaucrats in Austin with a history of kowtowing to industries known to pollute the air and water?
That’s a no-brainer, right?
Well, lawmakers are holding a hearing today on just that issue. (more…)
In this week’s News of the Week: Lawmakers hold a hearing to discuss whether local authorities should retain the right to sue polluters, safety regulators know almost nothing about the most dangerous job you’ve never heard of, and a columnist loses his friend to a hospital infection. (more…)