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Saturday Grind making Progress

January 20th, 2007 by Mike Vasilinda

Item by item, State lawmakers were working out differences today in the giant insurance reform package being debated. As Mike Vasilinda reports, some differences have been worked out, others remain, yet a general air of optimism is once again in the air.

Hear it here: Session Update

Lawmakers showed up for work in short sleeve shirts and jeans. Point by point, they were coming to agreement on items like homeowners being able to buy less insurance if they don’t have a mortgage or don’t want to cover their furnishings.

After the first morning conference broke up, Curtis Richardson had a good feeling.
“I do believe we’ll make the six o’clock pm on Sunday deadline that we’ve been given.”

Broward Senator Steve Geller worked all day on a compromise to reduce windstorm costs. “Policyholders of company A would receive a rate reduction of 36.8%,”
Says Geller.

Starting at 11:30, Lawmakers spent almost an hour waiting for documents to print, but plenty of one on one negotiating took place. The meeting finally got stated at one forty, when chief house negotiator ray Sansom made a big offer. “The first bullet point is require Citizens to develop a comprehensive business plan for writing multi-peril policies.” Sansom told his Senate counterpart.

For the House to agree to let citizens sell other lines is a big deal. It’s a big portion of the Governor’s plan, and pleased Charlie Crist. “I’m very encouraged by that because if Citizens has the opportunity to compete, they can offer lower rates for our people and that’s very, very important.” Crist told us.

The work will continue into the evening. There is hope a deal can be brokered before Sunday, but staffers have ordered breakfast and lunch… just in case

If the negotiators can seal a deal tomorrow, it will be presented to the legislature on Monday… the final day of the special session.

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