Florida Politics, May 4, 2017
When Lee Jacobson heard that that an insurance omnibus bill had been pulled from the Rules Committee onto the Senate floor Wednesday, he hightailed it to Tallahassee.
The Orlando insurance and personal-injury attorney, active in the Florida Justice Association, was watching his daughter play soccer at the time.
“I ran home, threw two suits in a bag and grabbed two one-way flights to get here,” Jacobson said Thursday morning.
His fear was that the bill — CS/CS/SB 454 — would become a train that might pull legislation to reform assignment of benefits agreements or personal injury protection auto insurance into law.
Bills on those two subjects have been languishing in the Senate.
Jacobson needn’t have worried. Jeff Brandes, SB 454’s sponsor, insisted Thursday that that’s not going to happen.
“My deal to pull that from committee was to take only things that were in the House bill or were in the Senate bill, plus one or two other issues that leadership of the Senate agreed would go on that bill,” Brandes said.
“AOB, PIP, workers’ comp are not any issues that are authorized to go on that bill, nor has the president asked me to put that on there,” he said.
“They could put the AOB bill on workers’ comp,” Brandes allowed. He wouldn’t object “as long as it’s the House version. I would take the House version of both workers’ comp and AOB if it were up to me. I think they’re far superior to what we’ve approved.”
But on SB 454? No way.
“I would be happy to have that conversation, but that would violate the agreement I made to pull that bill from committee.”
He described his bill as “largely clean-up provisions that are needed to basically provide consumer protection and offer more efficient service in the insurance industry.”