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Scott vetoes consumer protection for Citizens depopulation, 1st of 2015 session

In his first veto of the year, Gov. Rick Scott rejected Tuesday a bill that sought to make the de-population of Citizens Property Insurance Corporation more consumer-friendly.

The proposal (HB 1087) would have forced Citizens to send multiple "takeout offers" for comparison purposes, rather than one at a time. And it would limit the number of offers that could be sent to two per year.

People who left Citizens and then saw their rates hike more than 10 percent in three years could have returned to Citizens.

Scott wrote in his veto letter that the bill would discourage people from leaving Citizens, and he asserted that depopulation is in the best interests of the state.

"As alternatives to Citizens continue to grow, state policy must continue to reduce dependency on Citizens, as it is designed to be an insurer of last resort and not the insurer of first resort," he wrote. "With the specter of assessments after a catastrophic event, we should encourage more competition that benefits every family."

HB 1087 passed both the House and Senate unanimously.