House Speaker Marco Rubio: 'We get it'

Article Courtesy of The Miami Herald

Published  December 12, 2006

We get it. We know soaring insurance costs are hurting Floridians because we're Floridians, and we're hurting too. The Florida House members are citizen-legislators. When we're not in Tallahassee, we're your neighbors in your hometown. We're working beside you in our communities as Realtors, contractors, teachers and farmers.

Just like you, we own homes, businesses and property. We're husbands and wives, parents and grandparents, and we sit around the dinner table at the end of the month and pay our insurance bills, too. We feel the pain in our pocketbooks from having to pay for rate increase after rate increase, and we know you will not accept another year without comprehensive and meaningful insurance reform.

We won't accept it either.

In order to demonstrate our commitment toward finding solutions to our insurance crisis, the Florida House members have come together -- Republicans and Democrats -- and dedicated the past week to truly understanding the underlying factors of the insurance situation, discussing possible solutions and building consensus toward January's special session. It has been a bipartisan effort with all 120 House members participating across party lines.

Already, some agreement has begun to emerge.

We know we have to find a way to lower rates for Floridians and that we have to make sure that insurance companies treat Florida homeowners fairly.

We'll find solutions

Republicans and Democrats also agree that we need to ensure the construction of more secure homes, regardless of where they are located in the state, so that rates won't have to be increased to rebuild homes that could have easily been protected. We should expand home storm-proofing efforts for Floridians so they can strengthen their homes. And most of all, we know that we need to fix Citizens Property Insurance and hold its leadership accountable.

No one is suggesting that our work will be easy. Come January, legislators will have a Special Session to digest all we have learned and come up with solutions that provide relief for all Floridians.

We're not settling for Band-Aids in January; we're aiming for long-term and lasting reforms that will bring relief to Florida's insurance consumers and protect our economy for years and decades to come.

Rep. Marco Rubio, R-West Miami, is the Florida House speaker.