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Council: Civil service employees should keep jobs if forced to relocate due to Biggert-Waters
Employees must currently live in parish to work for government
By Jonathan Menard -   May 23, 2013

The St. Charles Parish Council has asked the parish government to allow employees to keep their jobs if they have to move to another area due to financial hardship associated with the Biggert-Waters Act.

Currently, all civil service employees must live in St. Charles Parish in order to work for the government. However, several employees could face astronomical flood insurance rate increases due to Biggert-Waters.

Councilman Paul Hogan, a co-sponsor of the resolution, called it a "no brainer."

"This is based upon concerns that several employees have brought to my attention. This is a no brainer because it would only happen if financial situations cause someone to move," Hogan said.

The National Flood Insurance Program provides homeowners with property coverage in the event of flooding and is required for many homeowners in St. Charles. The Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act, signed into law by President Barrack Obama in 2012, contains provisions for phased in automatic premium rate increases for many policyholders in the parish.

The actuarial risk-based premium rate increases are expected to rise 20 to 25 percent each year for the next four to five years.

Hogan said such increases, which could cost residents tens of thousands of dollars a year in flood insurance, place a tremendous burden on the budgets of parish residents.

According to the resolution, if financial hardship forces an employee to move to another parish, the employee will be "grandfathered" in to their jobs with St. Charles.

Hogan said the civil service board will be responsible for deciding what constitutes financial hardship.

"They can put in whatever type of limits they think there needs to be," he said.

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