Florida Legislature Set to Meet in Special Session on Property Insurance, Hurricane Relief Week of Dec. 12

The Legislature is ready to head back to Tallahassee for a special session on property insurance and to “address property tax obligations and provide needed economic relief for Southwest Florida residents.”

This week, the new team of legislative leaders–state Senate President Kathleen Passidomo, R-Naples, and state House Speaker Paul Renner, R-Palm Coast–released a memo in which they announced the special session would be held from December 12 through December 16. The Legislature had been scheduled to be in Tallahassee at that time for an interim committee week.

Gov. Ron DeSantis called for the special session back in October. The special session will also “address solutions to stabilize Florida’s property insurance market that will introduce more competition and policies that will lower prices for consumers.”

DeSantis said he wanted “the Legislature back to Tallahassee to establish more permanent solutions for property taxes, provide additional economic relief to Southwest Florida, and implement necessary reforms to the property insurance market” and he promised to work with it.

“I look forward to working with our legislators to find innovative solutions and I am glad we have a legislature that’s ready and willing to address these issues soon,” the governor said.

Then incoming state House Democratic Leader Fentrice Driskell, D-Tampa, who now leads her party in that chamber, weighed in on the governor’s call for a special session.

“Florida’s property insurance collapse has been building for a long time!” Driskell said. “We should have worked to solve this problem during the last legislative session, or the special session afterwards, but instead the problem was ignored while companies folded or stopped writing policies in Florida. The governor and the Legislature played culture war politics while the media reported story after story about the housing insurance market.

“Experts said Florida was in trouble and homeowners knew it was true when their rates skyrocketed or companies dropped them,” Driskell added. “We’re glad Governor DeSantis is finally on board with what Florida Democrats have been saying the whole time: our property insurance market is in crisis and Floridians are suffering. I’m just sorry it took a hurricane to get him to act.

“Obviously, we will need to see what they propose. Our last special session was specifically about property insurance, and it didn’t even come close to solving the problem. We’ll need to see specific plans and how they’ll actually help the people of Florida. This is not the time for half-measures,” Driskell said in conclusion.

Kevin Derby
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