Another kick in the teeth from the Florida Legislature

Image courtesy of Laura Joyce Stone.

The Florida Legislature continues to ensure Florida remains unaffordable to anybody who isn’t independently wealthy.

The Legislature recently approved a measure, Senate Bill 2-A, which among other things requires people who insure their homes through the state pool, Citizens Property Insurance, to purchase flood insurance.

For the upcoming year it applies to only structures with an appraised value of $600,000. But that threshold declines every year until 2027, when all structures insured through Citizens will be required to carry a flood policy.

The requirement exists whether the structure is located in a flood zone or not. That means somebody who owns a modest house in Gainesville or Orlando will be forced to carry flood insurance, if their home is insured through Citizens, despite being located many miles away from the coast or an inland waterway.

The cost of flood insurance varies, anywhere from a minimum of $261 per year to as high as $7,600, depending on the appraised value and location of the property.

Wealthy waterfront property owners can afford such insurance. People who live on a fixed income, such as Social Security recipients, cannot.

It would seem the purpose of requiring property owners who don’t live in a flood zone to purchase flood insurance is an effort to subsidize the cost for those who do, and if that’s the case it represents a terrible injustice. Once again, the wealthy benefit off the backs of those who once represented the state’s middle class.

Add this to the relatively new requirement that homeowners replace their roofs every 10 years – a $15,000 expense on average – and you have two measures designed to weed out a certain socio-economic constituency.

The Republican supermajority in the Legislature and Gov. Ron DeSantis have been braying these past few years about how much they cherish personal freedom. DeSantis even calls the Sunshine State the “free state of Florida.”

Yet they have no qualms about slipping the government’s sticky fingers, to an ever-increasing extent, into yours and my wallets to extract more and more of our hard-earned dollars.

All this “freedom” sure ain’t free.

About the author:

Del Stone Jr. is a professional fiction writer. He is known primarily for his work in the contemporary dark fiction field, but has also published science fiction and contemporary fantasy. Stone’s stories, poetry and scripts have appeared in publications such as Amazing Stories, Eldritch Tales, and Bantam-Spectra’s Full Spectrum. His short fiction has been published in The Year’s Best Horror Stories XXII; Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine; the Pocket Books anthology More Phobias; the Barnes & Noble anthologies 100 Wicked Little Witch Stories, Horrors! 365 Scary Stories, and 100 Astounding Little Alien Stories; the HWA anthology Psychos; and other short fiction venues, like Blood Muse, Live Without a Net, Zombiesque and Sex Macabre. Stone’s comic book debut was in the Clive Barker series of books, Hellraiser, published by Marvel/Epic and reprinted in The Best of Hellraiser anthology. He has also published stories in Penthouse Comix, and worked with artist Dave Dorman on many projects, including the illustrated novella “Roadkill,” a short story for the Andrew Vachss anthology Underground from Dark Horse, an ashcan titled “December” for Hero Illustrated, and several of Dorman’s Wasted Lands novellas and comics, such as Rail from Image and “The Uninvited.” Stone’s novel, Dead Heat, won the 1996 International Horror Guild’s award for best first novel and was a runner-up for the Bram Stoker Award. Stone has also been a finalist for the IHG award for short fiction, the British Fantasy Award for best novella, and a semifinalist for the Nebula and Writers of the Future awards. His stories have appeared in anthologies that have won the Bram Stoker Award and the World Fantasy Award. Two of his works were optioned for film, the novella “Black Tide” and short story “Crisis Line.”

Stone recently retired after a 41-year career in journalism. He won numerous awards for his work, and in 1986 was named Florida’s best columnist in his circulation division by the Florida Society of Newspaper Editors. In 2001 he received an honorable mention from the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association for his essay “When Freedom of Speech Ends” and in 2003 he was voted Best of the Best in the category of columnists by Emerald Coast Magazine. He participated in book signings and awareness campaigns, and was a guest on local television and radio programs.

As an addendum, Stone is single, kills tomatoes and morning glories with ruthless efficiency, once tied the stem of a cocktail cherry in a knot with his tongue, and carries a permanent scar on his chest after having been shot with a paintball gun. He’s in his 60s as of this writing but doesn’t look a day over 94.

Contact Del at [email protected]. He is also on Facebook, twitter, Pinterest, tumblr, TikTok, Ello and Instagram. Visit his website at .


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