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February 16, 2012

Tallahassee, Fla. – Today leaders from Florida’s business and nonprofit community commended members of the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee for voting in favor of Senate Bill 1372 (Sen. J.D. Alexander, R-Lake Wales).

Bill Newton, President, Florida Consumer Action Network
“SB 1372 is a reasonable solution that aims to protect Florida consumers and the well-being and financial security of our state in the wake of the next storm. The Florida Consumer Action Network appreciates the time Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund Chief Operating Officer Jack Nicholson has spent developing his proposal which the legislation is based on, and thanks the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee for voting in favor of this important bill. This consumer-friendly bill is a necessary step to protecting Floridians from Miami to Orlando to Panama City.”

Jose Gonzalez, Vice President of Government Affairs, Associated Industries of Florida
“We are pleased members of the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee have voted in favor of Senator Alexander’s important Cat Fund reform legislation. As written, this bill, as well as the identical bill in the House sponsored by Representative Hager, is critical to alleviating the financial burden all Florida businesses, homeowners, churches, charities and auto policy holders are currently faced with. We are encouraged by today’s forward progress and urge the full Legislature to adopt this important legislation during this year’s state session.”

David Hart, Executive Vice President, Florida Chamber of Commerce
“Reform of the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund is critical to the Florida business community as well as all Floridians. We are thankful the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee understands how important and necessary SB 1372 is in order to eliminate the ‘hurricane tax’ assessment risk associated with the Cat Fund and better protect Floridians before the start of the 2012 hurricane season. Today’s committee meeting is the first step in a long road to implementing much-needed legislation. We urge the rest of the Florida Legislature to move this bill quickly through the legislative process and send it to Governor Scott for his signature.”

Jay Liles, Policy Coordinator, Florida Wildlife Federation
“Florida Wildlife Federation is pleased by the outcome of today’s Senate Banking and Insurance Committee meeting. For years we have supported legislation that aims to protect Florida’s natural environment and wildlife, and SB 1372 is fiscally responsible legislation that will no longer require all Floridians to subsidize development in the riskiest beachfront areas. We applaud both Senator Alexander and Representative Hager for working to remedy the current situation which will better protect our great state.”

Christian R. Cámara, Director of Florida Insurance Project, The Heartland Institute
“The CAT Fund in its current state poses an enormous threat to Floridians and their economic future. Without reform, more than half of the state's residents may find their legitimate claims going unpaid after a major hurricane. Today the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee made the right decision in approving the reforms in SB 1372, which will begin to set things straight to ensure that Floridians get what they pay for and safeguard the state's economy.”

Dominic M. Calabro, President and CEO, Florida TaxWatch
“Florida TaxWatch commends the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee for approving legislation to help the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund meet its financial obligations and reduce the possibility of subjecting Florida taxpayers to excessive ‘hurricane tax’ assessments in the wake of the next storm, and applauds Senator Alexander for introducing the measure. Florida TaxWatch has called for this important component of comprehensive reform to Florida's broken property and casualty insurance system for the past several years. This legislation would be a positive step in the effort to make these necessary changes, and we look forward to its approval by the full Legislature."