Posted at 2:44 PM on March 27, 2008 by Michael Marchio
SF2822, the "Good Faith" insurance bill has passed and is headed for a conference committee, and a bunch of Republicans cleaned up in floor-a-palooza points this afternoon.
Surprisingly, only three DFLers, (Rep. Joe Atkins, the sponsor and Reps. Michael Paymar and Terry Morrow) spoke up in favor of the bill. As for the Republicans, we had some of the usual suspects, Reps. Olson, Emmer, Kohls, and Siefert, but also a bunch who don't normally speak. If you had any of the previous lawmakers, or Reps. John Berns, Kurt Zellars, Neil Peterson, Sondra Erickson, Dan Severson, Steve Smith (another sponsor), Dean Urdahl, Sarah Anderson, congratulations. You earned some points today.
Minority members always have stronger showings during floor-a-palooza, probably because members of the majority are confident they've got the votes.
They didn't on one amendment offered by Rep. Kurt Zellers, though. His amendment would strip out a subdivision that said a breach of commercial insurance policies with a liability of $500,000 would be covered under the bill, and insurers would have to award 10 percent interest per year on the damages.
Reps. Atkins and Smith said that adopting it would leave small businesses and farmers without protection if their insurance companies welshed on payments, while Republicans said the provision would put family farmers, who may have a policy with a liability of $500,000, in the same league as corporations like 3M, even though those companies would be far higher, and that if any of these lawsuits were filed, it would drive premiums up so high that small businesses and farmers would be priced out.
Rep. Steve Smith had a zinger for Minority Leader Seifert before the roll was taken:
"Rep. Seifert, I know we're not supposed to get up on this side after you've spoken, and that's kind of a general rule, but I'm going to do it anyway. Rep. Seifert, its okay sometimes to not do what the chamber says."
Minority Leader Seifert requested the House go under call, where the Sergeant at Arms drags all the lawmakers out in the hallways back into the chamber and they're forced to vote. As role was taken, the board started to look pretty green. The vote on the amendment passed easily, with 80 ayes and 52 nays. Rep. Zellers's amendment successfully brought out the second biggest division at the Capitol, after party: the rural-urban split.
Take a look at how your lawmakers voted on VoteTracker.