SRQ DAILY MONDAY BUSINESS EDITION
MONDAY JAN 17, 2022 |
BY JACOB OGLES
Insurance rate relief will be the top priority for multiple lawmakers in the Session this year. State Rep. Tommy Gregory, R-Sarasota, said it’s his top concern. He’s working on legislation with Sen. Jim Boyd, R-Bradenton, on legislation that could slow hikes in cost in the region and the state.
“We have to do everything we can from regulation perspective to remove regulations and do other things in the sector,” said Gregory. “Floridians are paying more and more every year out of their pockets for insurance. We all know because we get those property insurance bills and those auto insurance bills that we have to do something to address those raising prices and increasing premiums.”
He’s working on a deregulation bill with Boyd that could go into a number of areas. “It’s about removing some of the unnecessary over regulation,” he said. “I’m a fan of anything we can do in this sector to give people choices. If you remove those regulations, you do give the consumer choices. Whether that choice is to buy insurance that covers for replacement value of a roof or the actual cash value, for example, which is one of the concepts that that he’s been working on. We are also working on a good idea to give that consumer choice and then they can decide, do they want to have more insurance at a higher premium or less insurance at a lower premium.”
He acknowledged insurance is a complex arena, but it’s one that will both improve the business environment in Florida and directly help consumers by leaving more dollars in their wallets.
Another priority for the state lawmaker will be cutting whatever taxes he can. Florida TaxWatch has identified numerous rate hikes that could come to Florida, including an increase in corporate taxes. There’s also an issue involving depreciation schedules for commercial buildings.
Gregory said he will look for ways across policy arenas to cut taxes in ways that benefit consumers in the short and long-term.
Besides pocketbook matters, Gregory also has filed a bill that would require the National Anthem to be played before sporting events. “having national symbols of unity, whether that’s the flag or national anthem, recognizing the strengths in our country, I think would go a long way towards unity,” he said.