Florida Republicans Press Forward with Legislative Agenda, Dems Angry and Impotent
Last night, news broke that the Florida legislature would be holding a special session in mid-December to address property insurance reform and Hurricane Ian relief.
Newly elected Florida House Speaker Paul Renner announced that the legislature, which now has Republican supermajorities in both the House and Senate, would bring “new, bold ideas” to revitalize Florida’s economy.
“Today, we convened the 91st Florida House of Representatives. I am honored to preside over a chamber that will bring new, bold ideas to fuel Florida’s economy, empower our families and communities, and set up future generations for even greater success.” Renner said on Twitter.
Today, we convened the 91st Florida House of Representatives. I am honored to preside over a chamber that will bring new, bold ideas to fuel Florida’s economy, empower our families and communities, and set up future generations for even greater success.
— Paul Renner (@Paul_Renner) November 23, 2022
Both DeSantis and Renner have put property insurance at the top of their agenda. Property insurance prices have skyrocketed for many homeowners in recent years. Renner said that they are unlikely to drop quickly after the Legislature passes reforms but wants to see legislation that will accomplish that goal over time.
DeSantis said that Florida needs a “competitive market” for property insurance prices to go down.
Gov. Ron DeSantis on property insurance: Florida needs a "competitive market" pic.twitter.com/QpdpHZg3G9
— Florida’s Voice (@FLVoiceNews) October 24, 2022
Renner reiterated that property insurance prices would not drop immediately after reforms were implemented, saying that prices could take two to three years to decrease.
“We’re going to look at the kitchen sink, frankly, of options … and once we do that, it’s important for people listening to know that will not result in an overnight drop in insurance rates,” Renner told reporters after he was named as Speaker. “We have to see probably two, three years as those policies turn over, and we see a drop in the table of litigation.”
Florida CFO Jimmy Patronis expressed optimism about the newly elected Florida legislature with Renner at the helm, saying that he was excited to work with him to lower property insurance prices.
Congratulations to @Paul_Renner on becoming Florida’s newest Speaker. I can’t wait to work with you and your team to lower insurance rates, protect Florida consumers, fight fraud and support Florida’s first responders. pic.twitter.com/gxgc5yL91N
— Jimmy Patronis (@JimmyPatronis) November 22, 2022
Meanwhile, Florida Democrats have struck a defiant tone in Florida’s legislature, holding only 35 of 120 House seats and 12 of 40 Senate seats.
“The last several months, we’ve been at war. Battles that began inside of this chamber spilled out into Senate districts across the state. And although we’ve fought hard to defend Floridians rights and freedoms and be a strong voice for working people, we have suffered great losses,” Said Lauren Book, the current Senate Minority Leader.
On Twitter, Book said that Florida Democrats would “march bravely into battle with our heads held high.”
Together, the @FLSenateDems – our Dirty Dozen – will march bravely into battle with our heads held high, defending everyday Floridians against the growing crises of affordability, political extremism, & threats to democracy.
— Lauren Book (@LeaderBookFL) November 21, 2022
Regardless, Democrats have little power to stop Republican’s agenda in the legislature as they hold supermajorities in both the House and Senate, giving Democrats little procedural power to block legislation that they introduce on property insurance or other issues facing the state of Florida.
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