Should Florida send cash to residents to help with insurance costs?
Finding a solution to put the brakes on rising insurance costs hasn’t exactly been easy, so a state lawmaker from Palm Beach County said it’s time to send people money.
"Right now, we have to focus on real solutions," state Rep. Jervonte Edmonds, D-West Palm Beach, said.
His plan, introduced as House Bill 41 in the upcoming legislative session, would establish a grant program, awarding $2,500 for those 65 and older and $1,500 for those younger.
"We had a bill last year called My Safe Florida home, which gave people grants to help fix up their homes, so this bill is kind of modeled after that bill," Edmonds said.
The money could be used to cover homeowners insurance, car insurance or a mortgage payment.
Edmonds said the money would come from the state's $10 billion budget surplus.
“There is so much more money that we have and that we love to brag about, the surplus and the budget and how much money we have,” state Sen. Tina Polsky, D-Boca Raton, said. “We should put money to where people need it. This is the economic issue of our time.”
"It is an absolute concern we have," state Rep. Toby Overdorf, R-Palm City, said during the town hall. "I do believe that we are going to be doing something on that this coming year."
Florida’s Republican-controlled Legislature did pass insurance reforms this year — but debate rages on how long that legislation will take to lower rates.
Edmonds said the state can't wait while millions are affected.
"The reforms we passed last year they said will take 18 months, 16 months to see change," Edmonds said. "By that time, people may be homeless or go into foreclosure, and I think now is the time that we have to step up."
Support for the bill is unknown, but if it did pass, the grant program would not be established until mid-summer next year.
Read the full bill below:
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