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Bill filed for public counsel in insurance cases

Legislation creating an independent watchdog to represent the public in insurance matters, an idea vetoed last year by Gov. Bob Martinez, was introduced Thursday by a South Florida lawmaker. The bill by state Sen. Don Childers, D-West Palm Beach, would expand the current role of Public Counsel Jack Shreve's office to include representation of the people in insurance rate increase requests.

The independent watchdog is opposed by Treasurer Tom Gallagher, the state's insurance commissioner.

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