Session on insurance unlikely before January

Published November 23, 2006

TALLAHASSEE - Senate President Ken Pruitt informed Senate staff members Wednesday that lawmakers might have a special session in January aimed at easing the state's property insurance crisis.

Gov. Jeb Bush had been hoping for months that lawmakers might return to Tallahassee before the end of the year to deal with the problem. Floridians consistently say it is one of their biggest concerns, with premiums increasing dramatically and some insurance companies dropping policies in the wake of two hurricane-heavy years.

But legislative leaders have said in recent days it was unlikely lawmakers could reach a consensus on what type of legislation to take up, making it more likely that any special session would wait until January.

By that time, Charlie Crist will be governor, which is also a consideration.

In his memo to Senate staff Wednesday, Pruitt, R-Port St. Lucie, said Senate committee meetings that had been scheduled for early December were being canceled and noted the likelihood of a January special session.

"We will keep you posted on developments," Pruitt wrote.

The regular legislative session is scheduled to start in early March, but legislators typically meet in committees all winter.