DECSION ON SPECIAL SESSION ON INSURANCE DUE THIS WEEK by Roxanne Escobales11/20/06
Today in Tampa, Governor Jeb Bush said the state legislature will find out this week if a special session will be called to address the FloridaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s insurance crisis. WMNFÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Roxanne Escobales reports.
Last week, the insurance crisis took two major turns. On Thursday, state-run CitizensÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ Property Insurance announced that next month it will be requesting a record-high rate increase. With rates already scheduled to rise in January, the new increases would nearly double homeownerÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s insurance and raise rates for commercial properties by as much as 610 percent. Governor Jeb Bush said that CitizenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s needs to be reined in.
On Wednesday, the property insurance commission formed by the governor and headed by his deputy lieutenant Toni Jennings released its recommendations to bring relief to policyholders. For immediate results, Governor Bush said that a special legislative session on insurance should be called soon. A decision on that will be made this week.
But as Bush leaves office in January to make way for Governor-elect Charlie Crist, Bush says that he does not want to step on CristÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s toes.
In the past Governor elect Charlie Crist has said he will defer to Bush on the need for a special session. But critics wonder if a special session before the end of the year or after Crist takes office in January would actually help the situation. Incoming chief financial officer, Alex Sink, last week said she favors going slowly when it comes to insurance rather than rushing to vote on a quick fix that could turn out to be a worse in the long run.
For WMNF Evening News in Tampa, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m Roxanne Escobales.