Florida lawmakers push to convene for special session over property insurance woes

By: - April 11, 2022 3:31 pm
Aerial view of Florida homes

Florida Senate Democratic leader Lauren Book wrote a letter to Gov. Ron DeSantis, requesting that the Legislature convene to revise property insurance laws. (Canva image)

With about a week to go before the Florida Legislature launches a special session for a new congressional map, key lawmakers are pushing hard to convene for another session, this time on property insurance woes.

Monday, Senate Democratic leader Lauren Book wrote a letter to Gov. Ron DeSantis, saying that: “Florida is nearing a tipping point, and our neighbors are in danger of losing their viability. Some insurance companies have been unable to issue policies, are ceasing operations, or are pricing renewals at unaffordable rates leaving thousands of Floridians with the unsettling surprise that they’ve lost coverage…”

Due to the growing crisis, Book wrote, she requested that the Legislature convene to revise property insurance laws, according to the letter to DeSantis.

It was signed by Book and 15 other state senators.

In addition, State Sen. Jeff Brandes, of Pinellas, is pursuing a property insurance special session as well.

He tweeted Monday that “the Secretary of State must poll the legislature within a week to see if 3/5 of the body votes affirmatively to convene a special (session). Upon receiving the necessary number of votes, notice of the special session will go out by mail within 7 days.

He added in another tweet: “As of 1 pm, within one business day of the sending out our letter, we have received more than enough responses from legislators calling for a special session on property insurance. We will be submitting our final count to the FL DOS at 5pm today.”

Meanwhile, the special session set for next Tuesday (April 19), continues to focus on a new congressional map pursued by DeSantis.

On Monday, Senate President Wilton Simpson and House Speaker Chris Sprowls provided an update on that special session. It said:

“The Governor has a role in establishing congressional districts of the state. Therefore, our goal during the special session is to pass a new congressional map that will both earn the Governor’s signature and withstand legal scrutiny, if challenged.”

That said, the memo stated:

“At this time, Legislative reapportionment staff is not drafting or producing a map for introduction during the special session. We are awaiting a communication from the Governor’s Office with a map that he will support. Our intention is to provide the Governor’s Office opportunities to present that information before House and Senate redistricting committees.

“We look forward to working with you next week as we complete our constitutional obligation for the 2022 redistricting process.”

This article was first published by Florida Phoenix, part of the States Newsroom network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Florida Phoenix maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Diane Rado for questions: [email protected] Follow Florida Phoenix on Facebook and Twitter.


Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of photos and graphics.

Diane Rado
Diane Rado

Diane Rado has covered state and local government and public schools in six states over some 30 years, focusing on policy and investigative stories as well as legislative and political reporting. She spent most of her career at the St. Petersburg (Tampa Bay) Times and the Chicago Tribune. She has a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and did a fellowship in education reform at the University of Michigan in 1999-2000. She is married to a journalist and has three adult children.