tampabay.com

Crist nudges bill toward vote

By JENNIFER LIBERTO
Published April 10, 2007


At first it looked doubtful that the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee would have time to discuss a bill to strengthen Citizens Property Insurance Corp., since it was scheduled second-to-last on the agenda Monday.

And then an unusual thing happened in the last 10 minutes of the meeting: Gov. Charlie Crist showed up.

Crist, who considers the Citizens bill critical, hovered near the back of the room. Sure enough, Chairman Bill Posey brought the bill up just as soon as he had a break, then ran through it with the speed of an auctioneer. It passed with only one no vote.

"To run over that bill in that short period of time, I just felt it was a bad way to do legislation," said Sen. Mike Bennett, R-Bradenton, who voted against the bill.

A House committee will consider its version of the bill this week.