La. lawmakers reach decision on controversial car insurance bill on last day of special session

Poor road conditions and traffic issues in Baton Rouge cost drivers just over $2,000 per year...
Poor road conditions and traffic issues in Baton Rouge cost drivers just over $2,000 per year for vehicle repair costs, lost time, and fuel spent for delays.(WAFB)
Updated: Jun. 30, 2020 at 5:28 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - A compromise bill that aims to lower Louisiana drivers’ car insurance rates is headed to Governor John Bel Edwards’ desk after intense negotiations.

The plan would essentially make it harder to sue after a car wreck, primarily by putting more cases in front of juries. The idea, lawmakers say, is to save insurance companies money by keeping them out of court.

"The hope is that money will trickle down to our citizens and that will result in lower rates," Rep. John Stefanski, R-Crowley, said.

Edwards vetoed a similar idea that passed in the regular legislative session, saying the plan penalized car crash victims without guaranteeing rate reductions. Insurance companies never testified before lawmakers or guaranteed the so-called “tort reform” would prompt them to lower rates.

Edwards’ administration negotiated with Republican leadership to produce the final version of the bill.

“I think we found a sweet spot that is going to have an effect,” Stefanski said.

The House applauded after the bill passed 84-16.

Lawmakers have until 6 p.m. Tuesday evening to pass a budget and end the special legislative session.

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