Brandes gets little GOP support for special session to address Florida property insurance woes

click to enlarge Jeff Brandes - Photo via MyFloridaHouse
Photo via MyFloridaHouse
Jeff Brandes
An attempt by Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, to spur a special legislative session on the troubled property-insurance system drew some support Friday, but few Republican lawmakers cast votes on the issue.

Brandes is using a procedure to poll lawmakers about supporting a special session, with lawmakers facing a noon Monday deadline to respond. For a special session to be held, Brandes needs to get support from three-fifths of the members of both legislative chambers —- which translates to 24 senators and 72 House members.

In numbers released late Friday afternoon by the Department of State, 32 House members had voted in favor of a special session, while two were opposed. Meanwhile, 10 senators backed a session, while one was opposed.

But with Republicans dominating the Legislature, only seven GOP House members and two GOP senators had replied. Brandes cast a lone Republican yes vote in the Senate, while Sen. Tom Wright, R-New Smyrna Beach, voted against a special session. Among House Republicans, the split was 5-2. Supporting the session were Rep. Linda Chaney, R-St. Pete Beach; Rep. Tom Fabricio, R-Miramar; Rep. Blaise Ingoglia, R-Spring Hill; Rep. Sam Killebrew, R-Winter Haven; and Rep. Anthony Sabatini, R-Howey-in-the-Hills.

Opposing it were Rep. Ralph Massullo, R-Lecanto, and Rep. Cyndi Stevenson, R-Saint Johns.

House leaders have been hesitant to make additional changes in the property-insurance system, saying changes approved in 2021 need more time to take hold.