DATE: March 15, 2010

GOVERNOR BARBOUR VETOES HOUSE BILL 173

Jackson, Mississippi – Governor Haley Barbour today vetoed House Bill 173 because the state will meet its commitments to the Mississippi Windstorm Underwriting Association by July, eliminating any need for the bill.

The full veto message follows:

TO THE MISSISSIPPI HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES:
GOVERNOR’S VETO MESSAGE FOR HOUSE BILL 173

I am returning House Bill 173: “AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 83-34-39, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO EXTEND THE DATE OF THE REPEALER ON THE REQUIREMENT THAT A PORTION OF THE STATE INSURANCE PREMIUM TAX REVENUE BE DEPOSITED INTO THE MISSISSIPPI WINDSTORM UNDERWRITING ASSOCIATION REINSURANCE ASSISTANCE FUND; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES” without my approval, and assign the following reason for my veto.

House Bill 173 would not provide any additional funding for the Mississippi Windstorm Underwriting Association Reinsurance Assistance Fund (the “Windpool”) but the bill would extend the repealer on the original legislation from the end of this fiscal year to July 1, 2013. Because the state will have fulfilled its statutory commitment to this fund before the end of the current fiscal year, an extension of this repealer is unnecessary.

In 2007, the Legislature passed and I signed into law legislation that would divert $20 million in insurance premium tax revenues into the Windpool during fiscal years 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010. This temporary diversion was aimed at helping to defray the cost of reinsurance, lowering the risk for insurance companies writing policies in Mississippi, and reducing insurance premiums on the Coast.

According to the Mississippi State Tax Commission, Mississippi has made good on its promise to pay $20 million during fiscal years 2007 through 2009. For Fiscal Year 2010, the state has already deposited $10 million into this fund and is slated to pay the remaining $10 million before June 30, 2010. Thus, at the end of this fiscal year all of our statutory obligations to the Windpool will have been fulfilled, with no need for this legislation.

For this reason, I am vetoing House Bill 173.

Respectfully submitted,

Haley Barbour
Governor