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Photo of Senator Tim Larson.


Tim Larson

Getting Results

Read My Latest Op-Ed Regarding Crumbling Foundations

As the State Senator representing four of the towns that have been hard hit by the crumbling foundations issue, I have fought on behalf of those who see their homes and life savings at risk every step of the way. That is why I was so shocked and dismayed to see some people try to play politics with the issue like we see happening in Washington so often these days.

Let me be clear, I am working every day to help bring relief to those affected. In 2016, I was one of the sponsors of a bill that would have defined “peril of collapse” and placed more responsibility on the insurance industry to cover the cost of repairing crumbling concrete. I even wrote a letter to more than 40 insurance companies—including several in Connecticut—asking them to join a state effort to repair the crumbling foundations of hundreds of Connecticut homeowners.

Unfortunately, that bill failed. It failed because legislators from areas of the state that have not been affected will not support legislation that will raise insurance premiums for their constituents by nearly 200 percent. They just won’t do it. I know. I’ve tried. I’ve spoken to them. I’ve written to them.

That is why when the legislation came up again this year, I did not support having a public hearing. The bill will not pass, and with an issue that is this emotionally charged, we can’t give people false hope.

As previously reported in the Journal Inquirer, Rep. Kurt Vail (R-Stafford) and Rep. Thomas Delnicki (R-South Windsor) criticized the decision to not raise the bill in the Insurance Committee. What they failed to mention is that their own Republican leadership in the committee, including Republican committee Co-Chair Senator Kevin Kelly and Ranking Member Rep. Rob Sampson, did not support raising the bill.

Unlike Reps. Delnicki and Vail, I will not mislead anyone. My record on this issue speaks for itself.

In 2017, as Chairman of the Public Safety and Security, I worked hard to ensure that the state budget provide crumbling foundation relief to homeowners—most of whom reside in the northeast region of Connecticut. I worked with residents, town managers, banks, insurance companies, the congressional delegation, and others to develop legislation to help mitigate the financial impact for these homeowners. The bipartisan budget allows for $100 million in bonding over the next five years to assist homeowners with deteriorating foundations, along with other aid programs. In addition, the budget puts fair procedures and processes in place to repair and restore crumbling foundations with strong oversight protections with the establishment of a nonprofit captive insurance company. It also provides grants and low-interest loans for homeowners with crumbling foundations.

Time and time again, Republicans turned their backs on their neighbors with crumbling foundation problems. For Rep. Vail to frame our decision not to raise this bill as an “injustice” to the people affected by this issue is disingenuous to say the least, especially when Republicans last year attempted to shortchange homeowners with crumbling foundations every chance they could. The Republican budget provided less than one-half of the aid for homeowners with foundation problems than the Democratic budget provided. After successfully agreeing to a $1 surcharge statewide that would have raised $10 million annually with a sunset prevision, my Republican colleagues deliberately removed that piece of policy during budget negotiations.

That is the true injustice.