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2010 Democratic primary for Attorney General


Martin County Democrats

Aronberg vs. Gelber Round 1

June 16, 2009
One of the best things about the prospect of a Democratic primary for Attorney General between State Sen. Dan Gelber and State Sen. Dave Aronberg is that Democratic voters will have a easy way to compare two lawmakers before they go to the polls.

One of the best things about the prospect of a Democratic primary for Attorney General between State Sen. Dan Gelber and State Sen. Dave Aronberg is that Democratic voters will have a easy way to compare two lawmakers before they go to the polls.

Aronberg Since the two Democrats served side by side during the 2009 session it's not too hard to go back and take a look at how they voted on several key measures that will impact some things that the AG is involved in - such as regulating insurance. (The AG sits on the panel that hires and fires the state's top insurance regulator.)

And yes, the two men parted ways on some important bills, including ones that would deregulate the state's insurance industry and allow Citizens Property Insurance to raise insurance rates by 10 percent a year until the rates are actuarially sound.

This is not to say that Aronberg and Gelber will use these votes against each other on the campaign trail. But the votes could have reverberations in future endorsements - and just as importantly - the money trail when business organizations mull over whether to donate to either one of them.

The Tale of the Tape:

HB 1171, the insurance deregulation bill  or "consumer choice bill" that would allow well-capitalized companies such as State Farm to bypass state rate regulation. Now sitting on the desk of Gov. Charlie Crist, who has hinted he plans to veto the measure.

Aronberg: Yes  - Gelber: No

Gelber HB 1495, the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund and Citizens bill which allows Citizens to raise rates and requires private insurance carriers to pay into a cash build up fund to boost the size of the Cat Fund, the state-created reinsurance fund. Crist signed this bill into law.

Aronberg: Yes - Gelber: No

SB 360, the controversial growth management bill that was roundly criticized by environmental groups but still signed into law by Crist.

Aronberg: Yes - Gelber: No

SB 1122, the measure that requires insurers to pay directly to doctors even if the doctor is not in the insurer network. This bill was a top priority for the Florida Medical Association yet opposed by some consumer groups, Senate Democratic Leader Al Lawson, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida and the state's insurance consumer advocate.

Aronberg: Yes - Gelber: Yes

SB 1696, Higher education. This legislation made several changes to Florida's higher education system, including revising the state's Bright Futures scholarship program (forcing students to refund money they received for a dropped course), cracking down on students who don't graduate quick enough or students who try to establish residency to avoid higher tuition costs, and raising the amount that universities can increase out-of-state or graduate tuition.

Aronberg: Yes - Gelber: No

Rounding several other important bills: The two lawmakers voted against the bill that puts back in place a cap on attorney fees in workers' compensation cases. They both voted against the state budget and both men voted in favor of SB 714, the condominium insurance bill that Crist vetoed. Crist vetoed the bill because it pushed back a deadline for when local governments could require condos to put in fire sprinklers.

(UPDATE: Here's another interesting one that I forgot to add earlier - CS/CS/HB 453. This bill expanded the revenue sources available for one of Florida's private school voucher programs. It would allow insurance premium tax dollars to be used to help fund scholarship funding organizations, which then hand out vouchers to low-income children.

Aronberg: Yes - Gelber: No.)

From The Fine Print: Florida politics, policy, and plain-spoken analysis by Gary Fineout.


(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. Martin County Democratic Executive Committee has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is Martin County Democratic Executive Committee endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)


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