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March 3, 2012

Tallahassee, Fla. – Today Florida’s business and nonprofit community praised members of the Senate Budget Committee for voting in favor of Senate Bill 1346 (Sen. Steve Oelrich, R-Cross Creek) which included a good amendment by Sen. J.D. Alexander (R-Lake Wales) related to the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund.

Jose Gonzalez, Vice President of Government Affairs, Associated Industries of Florida

“On behalf of Associated Industries of Florida, we’d like to thank Sen. Alexander for tirelessly working to ensure that changes are made to the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund this session. His amendment to Sen. Oelrich’s good bill is a step in the right direction that will alleviate the very real threat of future ‘hurricane tax’ assessments and better protect Florida’s business community as well as all citizens throughout the state. We thank the Senate Budget Committee for adopting the amendment and voting favorably for the legislation and urge the entire Legislature to support this necessary bill.”

David Hart, Executive Vice President, Florida Chamber of Commerce
“The Florida Chamber of Commerce firmly believes that reform of the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund is not a choice, but a requirement. Based on Sen. Alexander’s good amendment to SB 1346, it is evident that he is an elected leader who feels the same. Although this amendment does not fully rectify the current situation, it’s an important and necessary step the state must take in order to protect the Florida business community as well as all homeowners, renters, charities, churches and automobile policyholders from the risk associated with future ‘hurricane taxes.’ This bill is a critical component to better protecting the people of Florida and we strongly urge the Florida Legislature to pass the bill and send it to Governor Scott for his signature.”

Christian R. Cámara, Director of Florida Insurance Project, The Heartland Institute
"The Senate Budget Committee did well in unanimously amending SB 1346 to be a stronger, better bill by including much-needed CAT Fund reform. Currently, state law requires the CAT Fund to sell more reinsurance coverage to property insurers than it can reasonably expect to cover. If a sufficiently bad hurricane season plagues Florida and the CAT Fund is not able to meet its obligations, half of the state’s major insurance companies may go broke, Floridians may not get their valid claims paid, and the state will find itself in an economic quagmire. This is unacceptable, and members of the Senate Budget Committee deserve credit for exercising the leadership to address this critical situation.”