Blog: Slammed by Hurricane 408 and tracking it all
May 24, 2011
The following article was published in the South Florida Sun Sentinel on May 24, 2011:
Slammed by Hurricane 408 and tracking it all
By Charlotte Greenbarg
Well, here we are in Florida, among the worst in consumer distress according to Florida Trend, and Governor Scott signed the insurance “reform” bill. All of us are going to be hit really hard with the inevitable increases in the cost of insurance, and the onerous requirements for getting claims paid, if they can get it at all. This has the makings of an avoidable epic disaster if only politicians would have done some critical thinking instead of depending on canned talking points and lobbyists.
Find and stop fraud, of course, but don’t be deluded or try to convince us into thinking that increasing costs will draw more companies to do business in Florida if in so doing they create the very competition that supporters claim will decrease costs. Associations as well as individual homeowners must have insurance, whether the mortgage companies or common sense require it. It’s definitely not discretionary, and it just doesn’t make sense to use the theory of supply and demand in this case.
We tracked this bill as well as all the association legislation through the process directly and quickly by using the Community Advocacy Network’s (CAN) Capitol Connection. Yes, you could use the state website, but since over 2000 bills were filed during the 2011 session, most of our members find it simply too daunting to do it that way on their own, even knowing the bill numbers, because they move much too quickly for that website to keep up with the process.
That’s when CAN becomes invaluable and has been so successful in helping all of us play a meaningful role in the process while it is happening, providing information every step of the way. We did that with the association bills we were advocating, and saw the fast track 408 was on. We were very successful with our bills, and obviously less so with 408.
In the past, we didn’t have much to say about what was passed, finding out only after something had passed out of committee or gone to the floor. But with the Capitol Connection e-mail tool, we’re in the loop on which bills have been filed that impact us, what they mean and where they’re headed. CAN provides a live feed into the Capitol that everyone, members and non-members alike, may see on the homepage at www.canfl.com to use with the Capitol Connection to e-mail legislators in real time.
We need all the help we can get with our advocacy and our mission, and this connection is particularly valuable. It helps balance the uneven scale of power in the political realm, something we’ve been struggling with for many years, no matter which party has been in power.