NH News
4:51 pm
Wed May 23, 2012

Risk Pool Measure Now in Hands of Negotiators

Lawmakers will look to come to terms on how to regulate groups that sell insurance to New Hampshire cities and towns.

Some are concerned the House-passed plan could be hard on taxpayers.

This legislation comes on the heels of a Secretary of State investigation into the practices of New Hampshire’s largest public risk pool the Local Government Center.

State regulators charge LGC has violated the law and owes its customers – cities and towns – some $60 million.

House and Senate lawmakers have each passed bills aimed, in part, at clarifying how money should be returned to communities when risk pools have a surplus.

Senate Majority leader Jeb Bradley says under the House version, municipal costs could vary month to month.

“They want the ability to have rate stabilization, and not have rate fluctuation, which is uncertainty in how they budget....property taxes will be ping-ponging all over the place without rate stabilization.”

Local Government Center officials say they like certain elements of both plans.

The firefighters’ union – which first raised the alarm about LGC’s actions – says both bills lack adequate taxpayer protections.