Apr 28, 2015 5:44 PM
Landrigan: Lawmakers punt on creating victims fund for Lakes Region Ponzi scheme
CONCORD - For another year, the victims of the Financial Resources Mortgage scandal will have to wait for any relief.
The House Commerce Committee voted, 17-4, to retain a Senate-passed bill to create a fund that victims of the Lakes Region Ponzi scheme could tap for financial reimbursement.
This means the measure (SB 155) will not return to the House of Representatives for a final vote until early 2016.
Committee Chairman John Hunt, R-Rindge, said his panel needs more time to work on the issue.
"We need to take as much time as as we need to get this right,’’ Hunt said.
But Rep. Ed Butler, D-Hart’s Location, said he wants the House to act on the issue.
"These victims have waited too long already for some action from us,’’ Butler said.
Several new members of the committee said they were unaware of the complex scandal which has resulted in four legislative studies and two investigations.
Al McIlvane is a major spokesmen for the victims who lives in Kittery, Maine.
McIlvane said he took the committee members at face value that the issue will get a closer look later this fall.
"I think they really want to take a serious look at this and it was kind of inspiring to see the concern," McIlvane said.
House Speaker Shawn Jasper, R-Hudson, met with Republican members of the panel before the executive session along with House Majority Leader Jack Flanagan, R-Brookline.
Jasper reportedly told the group he opposed the legislation as a victims fund would set a dangerous precedent for the future.
Hunt said one of the reasons to study this matter further was the bill contains no cap on how much would be paid to victims.