Courtesy of Channel 8 News On Your Side
Heather Monahan, Mahsa Saeidi
Published April 15, 2022
TAMPA — The Florida legislature is one step closer to calling a special
session aimed at addressing the state’s homeowners insurance crisis.
State Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, confirmed
Monday he officially obtained the signatures needed from
fellow lawmakers to advance a legislative maneuver that
would force a special session.
“As of 1 p.m., 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,” the senator said in a tweet.
Brandes first told 8 On Your Side last week about the
maneuver he would be attempting to get a special session
without Gov. Ron DeSantis or other legislative leaders.
State statute allows lawmakers to force a special session if
20% of legislators file with the Department of State
explaining conditions that warrant it. If 20% file, the
remaining legislators will be polled. A special session can
be called if three-fifths of the legislature agree to sign
The signatures Brandes obtained on Monday is just the
first step – the 20% of the legislature needed to trigger a polling of every
lawmaker in the Florida House and Senate. According to Brandes, the
Secretary of State has to poll lawmakers within a week.
“And the great thing about it is, it’s public document,” Brandes said last
week. “Floridians will be able to see which House members and senators are
standing with them and which ones are standing against them.”
Homeowners insurance crisis: Some Florida seniors worry they’ll lose
During a stop in Tampa on Monday, Gov. DeSantis told 8 On Your Side’s Mahsa
Saeidi he supports Sen. Brandes’ move to force a special session.
“I think it’s just a matter of – as you remember, it kind of fell apart at
the end of the session,” DeSantis said. “So we just want to make sure we
have a product that will pass and that we can get through.”
our property insurance bills were introduced during the regular legislative
session to address the insurance crisis, but each one failed. Hundreds of
homeowners have reached out to 8 On Your Side in recent weeks, panicking
after getting their annual property insurance rates. Some homeowners say
they’re seeing rates double in a single year.
When will Florida’s homeowners insurance crisis be addressed?
“We gotta be honest with people, we’re in a big period of inflation, so all
this stuff is gonna go up,” DeSantis said. “But on the property insurance in
particular, clearly we have dysfunctions in that market that could be
Sen. Jim Boyd, R-Bradenton, was also at the governor’s news conference
Monday morning and agreed the insurance crisis is “out of control.”
“We need to have a program that all of us can agree on that, most
importantly, saves Floridians money,” Sen. Boyd said. “It’s out of control,
we’ve got to get our arms around it and we have to solve it for our