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Statement By:
Tom Feeney, President and CEO, Associated Industries of Florida

Regarding Today's Action on Medicaid Expansion & the Medicaid Waiver

January 30, 2012

“Associated Industries of Florida (AIF) is extremely disappointed that the House Civil Justice Subcommittee took a vote last week that effectively stopped any further legislative consideration this session for reforms to the insurer bad faith laws. The current system allows third parties to pierce the insurance contracts of individuals and businesses and force companies to settle claims expensively and without due investigation simply for the sake of avoiding further, more expensive litigation. These practices are contributing to ever increasing claims cost, which ultimately make doing business in the state more expensive. Eight bipartisan members of the 15-member subcommittee voted against HB 427 by Representative Kathleen Passidomo (R-Naples) which immediately halts its progress through this year’s legislative session. The bill sought to level the litigation playing field by requiring third party, non-policyholder plaintiffs to go through the same notice requirements when bad faith actions are alleged that a policyholder must follow when it complains about its own insurance company.

Florida’s business community is committed to doing everything it can to make Florida the premier destination for businesses to succeed.  A major part of that effort is working with our elected officials to address areas in our jurisprudence that require attention. The reforms in HB 427 would have minimized the threat of ‘gotcha’ style lawsuits and would have brought much needed certainty to the process by codifying the same requirements for everyone.

As our state battles its way out of this crippling recession, employers need legislators in the halls of the Capitol who will champion all legal reforms that businesses need to thrive in the state. AIF will continue to advocate for policies that will spur economic growth and bring fairness and predictability to our state’s legal system.”

Voting in Favor of HB 427:

Voting Against HB 427:

Representative Eric Eisnaugle (R-Orlando)
Representative Larry Metz (R- Eustis)
Representative Bill Hager (R-Boca Raton)
Representative Kathleen Passidomo (R-Naples)
Representative Scott Plakon (R-Longwood)
Representative Kelli Stargel (R-Lakeland)
Representative Mike Weinstein (R-Jacksonville)

Representative Matt Gaetz (R-Shalimar)
Representative Shawn Harrison (R-Tampa)
Representative Jose Oliva (R-Hialeah)
Representative Rich Steinberg (D-Miami Beach)
Representative Joe Abruzzo (D-Wellington)
Representative Mack Bernard (D-West Palm Beach)
Representative Marty Kiar (D- Davie)
Representative Darren Soto (D-Orlando)