Maryland state Sen. Delores Kelley, D-Baltimore, called here for state lawmakers and insurance regulators to work together to protect state authority over insurance regulation.
“We are all under attack by the feds,” Kelley said at the fall meeting of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, Kansas City, Mo.
If there are disagreements between regulators and legislators, then “let’s have a fight in-house and quietly, and not in a public way that would harm us during a time of stress,” Kelley said.
Kelley spoke at the first in what the NAIC says will be a series of regulator-legislator sessions at the quarterly sessions.
The NAIC has established the sessions, and a new legislative liaison group, to promote dialogue between regulators and state lawmakers and to respond to complaints by some state lawmakers that the NAIC has been shutting state lawmakers out of some activities.
The session attendees who packed the room included about 20 insurance commissioners as well as representatives from the National Conference of Insurance Legislators, Troy, N.Y., and the National Conference of State Legislatures, Denver.
State Rep. Robert Damron, R-Jessamine, Ky., one of the state lawmakers who has talked in the past about difficulties with attending some NAIC sessions, echoed Kelley’s words.
“The real enemy is across on the Hill,” Damron said. “They love for us to fight and bicker and battle each other. Federal regulation of insurance is our opponent, not each other.”
NAIC President Walter Bell, the Alabama insurance commissioner, said he does not believe that federal legislators are the NAIC’s enemy.