Bill Would Rein in Risk Pools

Legislation is making its way through the Senate that would tighten regulations for groups that run public insurance risk pools like the Local Government Center.

Bill supporters want more accountability for how taxpayer dollars are spent.

Lawmakers want tighter restrictions for so-called risks pools – groups that sell insurance to cities and towns – after regulators charged the Local Government Center with violating state law.

For example, the Local Government Center failed to return surplus back to municipalities, despite what's on the books.

Bill sponsor Senator Ray White says obviously the statute isn’t clear enough.

“Everybody had a different interpretation of a lot of the terminology that was used. And once one pool gets a little bit outside the box, the other pools are forced to follow that pool for competitive reasons.”

Under the legislation, White says cities and towns would have the option to receive surplus if available.

The Secretary of State’s Office would continue to regulate groups under the measure.

The Local Government Center says it believe some legislation is needed to clear up the role of risk pools.