This blog has been following a controversial bill in the Nevada state assembly that would have started a pilot program in Clark County for implementing an auto insurance pool for low-income drivers. Assembly Bill 299 would have allowed drivers from households who make below 250 percent of the federal poverty level to buy lower-cost insurance policies.
But earlier this month, AB 299 officially died.
By law, every bill in the Nevada legislature must be voted on by both the Assembly and the Senate within 110 days of its submission. Even though the bill had passed the Senate Commerce, Labor and Energy Committee, that 110-day milestone was reached on Monday of last week without the full Senate bringing AB 299 to a vote.
Under the proposed bill, every auto insurance policyholder in Clark County would have incurred a 50-cent surcharge on their premium in order to pay for the low-income insurance pool. That measure brought stiff resistance from many quarters. In addition, some lawmakers pointed to a similar program in California which they said was unsuccessful. Backers of the bill said it was needed for struggling families to remain compliant with Nevada’s auto insurance requirements.
The death of AB 299 has brought reactions from both sides. Proponents of the bill now lament that many Clark County families will be forced to drive without the proper auto insurance, which will result in hardships for drivers who are involved in auto accidents with uninsured motorists. Opponents say that driving is a privilege, not a right; and that those who cannot afford auto insurance should stay off of the state’s roads.