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With high drama, Senate delivers Scott victory on PIP

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Florida Governor Rick Scott, center, was all smiles Friday night on the Senate floor after the passage of the PIP bill. Senator Jim Norman, R- Tampa can be seen in the front. On the right, back, Senator Eleanor Sobel, D- Hollywood, who voted against the bill, did not greet the Governor. [Scott Keeler, Times]

The Senate approved personal injury protection reform on a razor thin 21-19 vote in favor of the “strike all” amendment then a 22-17 vote in favor of HB 119. Democratic Sen. Bill Montford of Tallahassee was the deciding vote initially, breaking with his caucus to support the compromise.

During debate on the legislation, Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll was seen in the wings of the Senate chambers. She chatted up members as they stepped out for a beverage.

Right after the Senate approved the “strike all” amendment to HB 119, Gov. Rick Scott came into the chambers and congratulated Senate President Mike Haridopolos. The governor's office said he also passed out handwritten notes to Senate supporters.

The vote allows both Scott and Haridopolos to close out the session with a victory.

“This is a triumphant moment for the residents of Florida,” Scott said via a news release issued minute after the Senate voted. “Members of the legislature heard our call to put Floridians ahead of special interests and combat the fraud that has become a billion dollar tax on drivers.”

Eight Republicans voted against the measure alongside Democrats: Mike Bennett of Bradenton, Charlie Dean of Inverness, Miguel Diaz de la Portilla of Coral Gables, Paula Dockery of Lakeland, Mike Fasano of New Port Richey, Rene Garcia of Hialeah, Dennis Jones of Seminole and Ronda Storms of Valrico.

Scott’s full statement:

“This is a triumphant moment for the residents of Florida. Members of the legislature heard our call to put Floridians ahead of special interests and combat the fraud that has become a billion dollar tax on drivers. I applaud Chief Financial Officer Atwater, Speaker Cannon, Senate President Haridopolos, Representative Boyd, Senator Negron and Senator Richter and the many Florida newspapers and media outlets for uniting the legislature behind a solution to the auto insurance fraud problem.

“This is a bill that delivers on my promise to reduce the cost of living in this state by reducing fraud, stopping the growing cost related to accident fraud and ultimately saving Floridians money that otherwise would have found its way into the pockets of fraudsters, unethical providers and trial lawyers. I applaud the legislature for this decision that will help every Floridian policyholder.

“With the passage of auto insurance fraud reform, my job creation agenda and $1 billion for K-12 education, it is safe to say this session has been a victory for all Floridians.”

Comments

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miguel D. de la Portilla

Nice SPIN from Governor Voldemort. But facts are stubborrn things:the House measure which was ultimately approved was crafted by insurance company lawyers. It took out the 25% rate reduction to consumers and provisions that would ensure that insurance companies deal in good faith with the injured, hospitals, and health care providers. Under the Governor's/Insurance Companies' plan rates will continue go up, providers won't get paid, and insurance companies will continue to pad their profits.

Jon bonay

Michael. Will have to work for morgan and morgan with charlie christ pleaae remind them we are the peopke

Rosemary

Thank You Governor Scott, I have worked in the insurance industry for 32 years. In the past 7 years here in Florida, I have NEVER seen this kind of fraud. For people who think the Governor is wrong, please spend a day in my world and see what's really going on. I see peoples records with repeated claims of $50,000 and up for suppose injuries. Once again, Thank You Governor Scott.

Eric Ingraham

Isn't it interesting.... the only negative comment came from Miguel Diaz de la Portilla who just happens to live in the fraud capital of the state!

Jacob

Not only did Miguel Diaz de la Portilla vote against the bill, but his buddy in from the Hialah (#1 capital for fraud in the country),Rene Garcia also has the backing of the Medical fraud clinics and the PIP attorneys.
It doesn't bode well for Florida citizens when a big deal is made from passing a bill that "Put special Interest aside", and did what is morally and just for the citizens of this state. Shouldn't all matters be for the betterment of society? Jacob Eljaua

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