State Senator Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin) represents parts of four counties: Milwaukee, Waukesha, Racine, and Walworth. Her Senate District 28 includes New Berlin, Franklin, Greendale, Hales Corners, Muskego, Waterford, Big Bend, the town of Vernon and parts of Greenfield, East Troy, and Mukwonago. Senator Lazich has been in the Legislature for more than a decade. She considers herself a tireless crusader for lower taxes, reduced spending and smaller government.
The Legislative Audit Bureau (LAB) released an audit of the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance's (OCI) Local Government Property Insurance Fund. The Local Government Property Insurance Fund was established during 1979 to insure government properties not owned by the state. The coverage for counties, cities, towns, villages, school districts, and library boards is reasonably priced and covers all property losses except those resulting from flood, earthquake, wear and tear, extreme temperatures, mold, war, nuclear reactions, and embezzlement or theft by an employee. As of 2011 the fund had 1,087 policyholders.
At the end of the 2008-09 fiscal year the fund had a surplus balance of $41.2 million. Due to the high surplus OCI declared a one-time $12 million dividend that reduced the premium payments local governments made to the fund during 2010. However, in fiscal year 2010-11 the fund had the highest claims level ever with over $43.4 million in total claims filed mostly due to severe weather over a three day period during July 2010. The combination of the one-time dividend and high claims forced the balance of the fund to fall to $20.5 million June 20, 2011. The minimum required balance of the Local Government Property Insurance Fund is $20 million.
The Office of the Commissioner of Insurance increased premium rates for policyholders 6.8% July 1, 2011, and an anticipated increase of 12% July 1, 2012 to increase the surplus balance of the Local Government Property Insurance Fund. OCI anticipates additional rate increases in future years.
Here is a link to the Legislative Audit Bureau's full audit of the Local Government Property Insurance Fund: http://legis.wisconsin.gov/lab/reports/12-7full.pdf