Poll among Florida lawmakers on property insurance special session falls short

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, didn’t get enough support from lawmakers by a Monday deadline to force a special legislative session on property insurance.

But Gov. Ron DeSantis separately announced he will call a special session.

RELATED: Florida might lose 4th insurance company in as many months as lawmakers polled on special session

With Brandes needing support from 24 senators and 72 House members to spur a session, only 17 senators and 69 House members even responded to a poll by a noon deadline.

Of those voting, 17 senators supported a special session, while one senator opposed it. Meanwhile, 48 House members supported a session, while four were opposed. Most of the support came from Democrats.

The Department of State announced the vote tally after DeSantis earlier Monday said he will call a special session in May to address problems in the property-insurance system that have led to homeowners losing coverage and getting hit with large rate increases.

RELATED: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis calling special legislative session on property insurance

DeSantis did not immediately specify the dates for the session.

Brandes used the polling procedure to try to force a special session after the House and Senate could not reach agreement during this year’s regular legislative session on property-insurance changes.

Sen. Aaron Bean, R-Fernandina Beach, and Sen. Ed Hooper, R-Clearwater, were the only Republican senators to join Brandes in voting in the poll for a special session.

RELATED: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis supports special session on property insurance

Sen. Tom Wright, R-New Smyrna Beach, cast the lone Senate vote against the session. In the House, Republicans Linda Chaney of St. Pete Beach, Tom Fabricio of Miramar, Elizabeth Fetterhoff of DeLand, Blaise Ingoglia of Spring Hills, Sam Killebrew of Winter Haven, and Anthony Sabatini of Howie-in-the-Hills joined 42 Democrats in supporting the proposal.

All four House votes against the session came from Republicans: James Buchanan of Osprey, Traci Koster of Tampa, Ralph Massullo of Lecanto, and Cyndi Stevenson of Saint Johns.

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