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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

A warning sign on insurance?



Gov. Charlie Crist called a press conference on less than an hour's notice on Friday to emphasize "why we're really here." He addressed reporters but his remarks were clearly directed at the people upstairs: legislators.

Crist's voice carried an urgency that suggested he's concerned whether the Legislature will approve a bill to "significantly" lower premiums. (He would not be pinned down on the exact size of the rate cut that would meet the definition). He said he remains optimistic that lawmakers will act but that it's important to "remain vigilant."

"It's not the process. It's the people," Crist said, as an easel displayed a blowup of a letter from Stan Whitney, a Port Charlotte homeowner burdened by rising premiums. 

"Forget the points. Remember Stan," Crist said. "It's for these people."

Crist also made it clear he disagrees with Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink and the House, who oppose his idea of immediately allowing state-run Citizens Property Insurance Corp. to sell other kinds of insurance and compete with private insurers.

[Last modified: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 1:26pm]


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