Bush vetoes condo dissolution bill

He says a measure that would have let 80 percent of the owners dissolve an association had insufficient safeguards.

Published June 9, 2006

TALLAHASSEE - Gov. Jeb Bush vetoed a bill to change the way condominium dwellers dissolve their contracts, but signed other bills dealing with topics that include sports and concert ticket sales, transportation and guns.

Of the 40 bills he acted on Wednesday, Bush vetoed only the measure dealing with joint agreements that grant ownership of a condo property to all its residents.

To dissolve a condominium and become neighbors who are only responsible for their individual units, all the members of a homeowners' association must agree. The bill would have lowered that to 80 percent of members.

In a veto letter, Bush wrote that he feared the bill could deprive unit owners of their right to remain in their condominiums without procedural safeguards.

Bush approved bills that:

* Eliminate a penalty for reselling tickets for more than $1 above the original price. The measure's sponsor, Rep. John Stargel, R-Lakeland, said the new law will allow people to sell unwanted tickets for as much as buyers are willing to pay. But it also allows Florida's attorney general to investigate profiteering when people or companies buy large batches of tickets to an event.

* Ensure that the state-owned acreage dedicated to public hunting stays the same or is expanded annually, a bill supported by the National Rifle Association.

* Allow Floridians with gun permits to carry their weapons during a state of emergency.

* Allow gun owners to bring their weapons into national forests and state parks, although they can't hunt. Opponents said the measure could create a hazard for swimmers, campers and picnickers.

n Require seat belts for all passengers in large vans that carry migrant farmworkers to the fields.

On Thursday, consumer advocates urged Bush to veto a bill that would weaken oversight of the sale of discount medical cards, which some say many people confuse for insurance plans.

The cards are marketed to the uninsured and underinsured as a way to save money on medical care. For an enrollment fee and a monthly charge, cardholders can access discounts on doctor visits, drugs, even surgery.

But surveys have found that some customers mistake the cards for health insurance, and are stunned when hit with huge medical bills, even after the discount.

Critics of the growing industry also say some people have trouble finding providers who will accept the cards.

Legislation to remove audit requirements for the card plans, allow higher fees to be charged and generally reduce the state's oversight of the industry was added last month to a bill dealing with several other arcane insurance issues. The measure passed on the last day of the legislative session, May 5.