Special session could bring veto overrides to Tallahassee
Submitted by Abel Harding on June 15, 2010 – 6:37pm
A special session of the Florida Legislature could hand Republicans an opportunity to override some of Gov. Charlie Crist’s vetoes, State Sen. John Thrasher, R-St. Augustine, said in an interview today.
Among the bills likely open for discussion would be SB 2044, an insurance reform bill many had touted as essential for strengthening the state’s weak property insurance market.
“[The measure] would have raised surplus limits,” Thrasher said. “That’s what ensures companies are financially sound.”
Crist surprised many by vetoing the measure, despite the fact that it was backed by Kevin McCarty, his hand-picked insurance commissioner.
The reforms, which have had a local champion in Rep. Bill Proctor, R-St. Augustine, passed the State Senate overwhelmingly, 36-6. The House passed the measure on a 83-34 vote. Provided those votes held, the numbers would be there to back an override.
Nevertheless, overrides aren’t a certainty, Thrasher said.
“We overrode Lawton Chiles when I was the incoming Speaker of the House,” Thrasher said. “It’s tough to override a Governor.”
Crist has repeatedly expressed his desire to call the Legislature into session to pass a constitutional ban on offshore drilling, a move that hasn’t sat well with Republican lawmakers.
With a measure unlikely to go anywhere in a Legislature dominated by lawmakers who have no appetite for the Republican-turned-Independent Governor’s ideas, insurance reform might be a measure that Republicans could revive with the help of some Democrats.
“We aren’t looking to poke him in the eye,” Thrasher said, “But, the Governor has totally politicized the issue of insurance.”