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On First Day of 2006 Session, Gallagher Renews Call for Solutions to Stabilize Florida’s Insurance Market

3/7/2006

CONTACT:
Tami Torres or Bob Lotane
(850) 413-2842
 
TALLAHASSEE – Tom Gallagher, Florida's chief financial officer, issued the following statement today regarding his continued effort to secure rate relief for Florida's property owners.
 
"I will continue to do my part to build support in the legislature for insurance rate relief for Floridians. Just last week, another key member of the Legislature added his name to the growing bipartisan list of legislators supporting my proposal.
 
"Refunding surplus tax revenue to offset the cost of insurance assessments is not a ‘bailout' of Citizens; it is rate relief for Floridians. Whether we use surplus tax revenue for the people or not, Citizens will remain solvent – the Legislature made sure of that when they created Citizens. Our elected officials now have a choice: they can use surplus tax revenue to offset insurance assessments, or they can do nothing and let the burden fall to Floridians.
 
"With insurance rates rising, easing the financial burden on Florida's homeowners is more important than ever. We have the money in the budget to take care of our state's most pressing priorities, to provide tax-relief to Floridians as the Governor and legislative leaders have proposed, and to still return money to Floridians to ease the burden of past storms and offset the cost of preparing for this season.
 
"My proposal to use surplus tax revenue to offset insurance assessments is designed to provide short-term relief, but I have also offered a comprehensive roadmap to our legislature for long-term reforms.  Implementation of the reforms I have proposed will provide immediate relief and will help keep our insurance market viable for the future.
 
"I am encouraged by the work of the Senate and House leaders and their commitment to reforming Florida's insurance market, and I will continue to work with the Legislature on behalf of Florida's home and property owners. Reforming Florida's insurance market and fighting for homeowners is my top legislative priority this year."