Readers of this blog know that Nevada lawmakers have been mulling a bill which would provide publicly-financed low-cost auto insurance to low-income drivers in Clark County. This week, that bill took a step closer to becoming law.
The Senate Commerce, Labor and Energy Committee voted 4-3 on Wednesday in favor of Assembly Bill 299. The legislation would set up a pool of auto insurance policies that would be available to Clark County families whose household income is 25o% of the federal poverty level or less.
In addition, a driver would have to be at least 19 years of age to qualify and have three or more years of driving experience. Also, that individual could not have more than one demerit on his or her driving record for a moving traffic violation. And they could not have been involved in multiple auto accidents in which they were at fault and that caused property damage.
The program would reportedly save policyholders about $50 a year in premium costs. But to pay for this pilot program, all Clark County drivers would be charged an extra 50 cents on their insurance premiums. And this clause may be the biggest stumbling block for AB 299.
Nevada law requires that any legislation which calls for public funding be approved by a 2/3 majority of state senators. All three dissenting votes this week were from Republicans, and the GOP holds 10 of the 21 seats in the Senate. So if the eventual vote in the full Senate falls along party lines, the bill will fail.
Keep checking back on this blog for updates on this legislation.