by Ryan Banfill, FJA Communications Director The Florida Senate Banking and Insurance Committee this week…
While the headlines have been flattering (See: Trial Lawyers are on the March and Chamber Laments the Rise of Trial Bar’s Influence with Florida Legislature), we continue to fight for everyday Floridians as though we are down a few points. As we reach the end of the third of nine weeks of the 2017 Legislative session, there is much to look forward to.
During this week, we were pleased to see legislation move in the House that would hold responsible those that benefit from human trafficking by turning a blind eye to activities benefitting those trafficking in the sex trade. Under the legislation, websites, hotels and motels that allow those activities to go on would be subject to civil liability.
Next week the House is hearing a bill that replaces PIP with Mandatory Bodily Injury Liability Insurance on Monday as well as a bill that would limit the cost of injured victims to access their medical records after an injury. On the former of those two pro-consumer bills, FJA leaders and members of the advocacy team have been working diligently to stave off efforts by the insurance industry to place a bad faith reform amendment on the Auto Insurance reform bill (HB 1063 by Rep. Erin Grall). We will also see a return to legislation in the Senate that had previously been stalled. SB 334 (by Sen. Greg Steube, R- Sarasota), relating to prejudgment interest, will be back on the agenda Wednesday for the Senate Committee on Rules.
This upcoming week is a critical one for legislation that hasn’t been heard yet in the House because Subcommittees conclude their work at that time. If all continues as expected, it will mean the defeat of standalone legislation filed on Limitations on Medical Payments (LIMP), Bad Faith safe harbor, anti-claimant claims bill reform, punitive damages reforms on domestic animals, assignment of benefits reform harming policyholders and various new sovereign immunities along with other bad bills will effectively be dead. While it’s early for a celebration, this is all very good news in Tallahassee.
So, with that, I’d like to make a plea to our members: we need you up here. Next week is CHOCK FULL OF JUSTICE and we could use your help in the Capitol from Monday to Thursday.