Property insurance special session kicks off
Florida lawmakers in both the House and Senate will convene at 10:30am Monday morning to consider proposals aimed at reducing property insurance costs and shoring up the market for insurance companies. Eliminating one-way attorney fees, which would make it more financially risky for homeowners to pursue lawsuits against insurers, is among the proposals. Another proposal would largely eliminate a controversial practice known as “assignment of benefits” for property-insurance claims. In assignment of benefits, policyholders sign over claims to contractors, who ultimately seek payment from insurers. Insurance companies contend that the practice increases lawsuits. More details here.
Board of Governors member dies
Kent Stermon, a Jacksonville-area businessman and member of the state university system’s Board of Governors, was found dead in a parked, locked vehicle Thursday night, law enforcement officials confirmed on Friday. The vehicle was discovered in the parking lot of a post office in Atlantic Beach. According to the report, Stermon had been sought as a missing person by the sheriff’s office shortly before he was found deceased. The police do not suspect foul play and an investigation is ongoing. A politically connected figure in Northeast Florida, Stermon — who was named “citizen of the year” by the sheriff’s office in 2016 — was part of the host committee for the 2020 Republican National Convention in Jacksonville, which ultimately was called off. Full story here.
Historic firsts: Meet three of the Florida Senate’s newest faces
On Election Night 2022, incoming Senate President Kathleen Passidomo sent out an email celebrating the victories of 28 GOP state senators and the aggressive conservative agenda. But she also singled out three brand new state senators, each of them chalking up history-making wins:
“Tonight, we celebrate the election of 28 new and returning conservative Republican Senators around the state, including historic victories with Corey Simon, Jay Collins and Alexis Calatayud. With the first Black Republican since Reconstruction, the first Green Beret and one of the youngest members ever elected, we will return to Tallahassee with a super majority and a renewed commitment to fighting for access to the American Dream for all Floridians.”
In addition to being “historic firsts” in their own unique ways, all three of them accomplished another first: the Senate offices they now occupy also happen to be their first forays into any public office.
On Monday, they’ll convene along with their Senate and House colleagues, in their first official legislative session, and get their first taste of the whirlwind of lobbyists and public affairs professions doing all they can to influence votes and shape legislation.
With many long-time public affairs professionals about to descend on Florida’s capitol complex, Monday marks their first chance to meet the Florida Senate’s newest members in person. But before that, The Capitolist had the opportunity to interview all three of them.
Their profiles are here:
Meet State Senator Corey Simon: “What you see is what you get.”
Meet State Senator Jay Collins: “Sometimes you have to step back to step forward.”
Meet State Senator Alexis Calatayud: “Find the gap and fill it.”
Some portions of these article summaries were provided by News Service of Florida.