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January 11, 2012

Tallahassee, Fla. – Leaders from nonprofits and business groups statewide today expressed their approval of Senate Bill 1784 (Sen. Alan Hays, R – Umatilla).

Jose Gonzalez, Vice President of Government Affairs, Associated Industries of Florida
“We applaud Sen. Hays for unfalteringly working to reform the overextended state-run Citizens Property Insurance Corp.  He truly understands how important it is that we make changes to Citizens in order to better protect the business community, as well as all Floridians, from the ‘hurricane taxes’ that will be added to our business, homeowners and automobile policies in the wake of the next major storm or series of storms.  With five months until the start of the 2012 hurricane season, the Florida Legislature would be wise to support SB 1784.”

Manley Fuller, President, Florida Wildlife Federation
“The Florida Wildlife Federation supports Sen. Hays and SB 1784.  We were pleased to learn of this important legislation and hope the entire Legislature embraces this bill as well.  In addition to better protecting all Floridians from potential ‘hurricane tax’ assessments, this bill is important to better protecting Florida’s coast and wildlife and we support the aspect of the bill which will eliminate coverage for construction seaward of Florida’s coastal construction control line.  By eliminating subsidies for such policies, Florida’s undeveloped natural coast will continue to serve as a natural buffer from damaging winds and storm surge – helping to protect us from the next storm that makes landfall. ”

Dr. J. Robert McClure, III, President and CEO, The James Madison Institute
“We commend Sen. Hays for his efforts to better protect Florida homeowners, businesses, churches, charities and automobile policyholders while helping to reinvigorate the private insurance market.  The time to implement changes to Citizens Property Insurance Corp. is now.  Premiums should reflect the real cost of living on Florida’s coast, but that requires the elimination of government interference in the property insurance market.  It’s imperative that the Legislature follow the lead of Sen. Hays, as well as other elected officials including Gov. Scott, and reform the state’s largest insurer.” 

David Hart, Executive Vice President, Florida Chamber of Commerce

“We support SB 1784 and applaud Sen. Hays for once again working towards the goal of restoring Citizens Property Insurance Corp. to its original and intended mission of insurer of last resort.  Florida has been gambling against the weather for far too long and our luck will eventually run out.  We believe it is in the best interest of all Floridians to realize the importance of this bill as a long-term solution to our state’s property insurance crisis.”

Christian Cámara, Florida Insurance Project Director, The Heartland Institute
"Despite several hurricane-free years, Florida's property insurance system remains extremely unstable. Sen. Hays' bill addresses a key factor of that instability--Citizens Property Insurance Corporation. His bill shores up Citizens to reduce the likelihood or severity of a post-hurricane taxpayer bailout that may dramatically increase Florida's cost of living and crush the state's economy. These reforms are vital to Florida's economic future."