This week the members of the Florida Legislature return to Tallahassee for the annual two-month legislative session. Even after more than 30 years in public service I feel the same energy in the Capitol as the session approaches that I felt as a new legislator.
Our legislature once again has the ability to make decisions that can improve the lives of Floridians. Our state senators and representatives can reform our legal system, protect our small businesses, and enact tax cuts to allow us to keep more of our hard-earned money and boost Florida’s economy.
The prediction of more active hurricane seasons in coming years continues to threaten our insurance markets, and my hurricane insurance proposals will be included in the debate. Comprehensive reforms are needed to better protect homeowners, strengthen the property insurance market, provide rate relief, and ensure greater accountability of Citizens Property Insurance Corporation.
The Legislature is considering legislation to better protect our law enforcement officers and innocent children from the growing menace of meth which is tearing at the fabric of our communities and spreading at an alarming rate.
Building on legislative reforms enacted over the last five years, more policy changes are being pursued this year to combat the costly crime of Personal Injury Protection (PIP) fraud. Florida law requires motorists to carry a minimum of $10,000 in PIP coverage, regardless of who is at fault. PIP benefits, over the years, have become the target of fraud schemes by unscrupulous citizens, costing Florida families as much as $240 a year in additional premiums.
The debate will be lively in the next two months. I encourage you to speak up on issues of importance to you by contacting your legislators in Tallahassee. We will each be impacted by the decisions made, and we each have the opportunity to help influence the decision-making.