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Governor Rick Scott Demands Immediate Action from President Obama to Fix Unfair Flood Insurance Rate Hikes

CLEARWATER, FL Flanked by local leaders, as well as Florida realtors and homeowners, Governor Rick Scott today called on President Obama to fix the unfair National Flood Insurance Protection (NFIP) rate hike. The rate hikes will disproportionately affect Florida families and could harm Florida's real estate market. The law, signed by President Obama, hurts homeowners by removing the rate "glide path" for flood insurance.

Governor Scott said, "We are calling on President Obama to take immediate action to prevent these flood insurance rate hikes on Florida's families, and families across the state. This is unfair and could devastate the Tampa Bay area's real estate market. The buck ultimately stops with the President. The time for leadership is now."

St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster said, "I would like to thank Governor Rick Scott for working to end these unfair rate increases. It's important that Washington D.C. understands that the families of St. Petersburg are fed up with outrageous rate hikes."

Senator Jeff Brandes said, "These changes to flood insurance are disastrous to hardworking families and will have serious consequences for our recovering economy. Florida deserves better from our elected officials in Washington."

Senator Jack Latvala said, "The flood insurance rate hikes by the federal government are simply unfair to our communities, and it's a problem that needs to be addressed by the federal government now – and not later."

Pam Dubov, Pinellas County Property Appraiser, said, "Thousands of homeowners who live in modest homes and who are not located on the waterfront will be affected by these disastrous new flood insurance rates. Not only will they be required to pay higher rates every year, but it is also quite likely that they will see the market value of their homes decline dramatically. This law must be amended to give consideration to the issues of affordability and fairness."

Representative Ed Hooper said, "I would like to thank Governor Scott for his commitment to the families of Pinellas County. We need the federal government to help fix this problem so the families of this area don't have to bear this unfair rate hikes."

Representative Larry Ahern said, "The decision by the federal government to raise flood insurance rates will impact our economy in the Tampa Bay area. Many families were broadsided by this news, and we need Washington to fix the mess they've created. I want to thank Governor Scott for putting much needed attention on this matter."

Republican Kathleen Peters said, "The National Flood Insurance Program rate hikes place an unfair burden on the Tampa Bay Area. It's important that we join Governor Scott today in calling on immediate federal action to fix this potentially devastating blow to our housing market and economy."

Representative Dwight Dudley said, "This is a crucial issue for all Floridians, especially the hard-working, middle-class families that will be affected the most. Without action by Congress, any economic progress that has been made will be thwarted or reversed. We need to act in a swift, bipartisan manner to prevent this looming disaster."

Diane Nelson, Pinellas County Tax Collector, said, "The Flood Insurance Reform Act has the potential to devastate Pinellas County and the entire state of Florida. Having heard from numerous homeowners across the county this past week, I can tell you that people are worried about the cost of their insurance and what will happen if they cannot afford it. These are average homeowners who could be forced out of their houses if Congress fails to act. Additionally, we are just now starting to see the Tampa Bay real estate market beginning to revive, and the effects of this law could stifle any hope of a real estate recovery in Florida. I urge Congress to stop the implementation of the flood insurance reform bill."

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President Obama is Failing Floridians With Federal Government Shutdown

TAMPA, FL Governor Rick Scott released the following statement today, amid the rising concerns of a federal government shutdown over a budget stalemate in Washington, D.C.:

"The impending federal government shutdown represents a failure of leadership. One of the most basic functions of governing is budgeting. At the state level, we compromise and negotiate to create a balanced budget every year. But, President Obama has shown no interest in negotiating or compromising. We have paid down state debt in Florida by $3.5 billion and paid back another $3.5 billion federal loan over the last two and a half years while also cutting taxes.

"President Obama is failing Floridians. President Obama is failing to save Florida families from huge flood insurance rate hikes, while also failing to serve Floridians with the responsible budgeting of their federal tax dollars. The buck ultimately stops with the President. The time for leadership is now."

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Governor Rick Scott Hopes White House Meeting Will Address Serious "Navigator" Security Concerns

Tampa, FL  Just two days after Governor Rick Scott wrote to Congressional leaders, urging them to take immediate action to address the security concerns surrounding the President's new healthcare law's "navigators" and the creation of a "federal data hub," the White House announced today that officials are meeting with Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Attorney General Eric Holder to discuss protecting Americans' personal data. The Governor's Monday letter to Congress is available here.

Governor Rick Scott said, "I'm glad to see the White House turning its attention to the security needs of the 'navigators' and the 'federal data hub' being created under the President's new healthcare law. Florida has become 'ground zero' for the frenzy of activity to sign people up for the federal insurance exchange, which opens October 1st. Whenever the federal government forces a brand new program this big to move this fast, mistakes are made – just as we saw last week in Minnesota. In Minnesota, the personal information of more than 2,000 Americans was accidentally released to someone who was signing up to be a 'navigator.'

"Unfortunately, with the federal exchange set to open in just a few weeks, many questions about 'navigators' and the 'federal data hub' remain unanswered. If the 'navigators' collect personal data, will they destroy all the documents containing confidential application information? If they transmit personal data through the 'federal data hub,' how many people will need to process it inside that system? If someone is not eligible to sign up, do they get their confidential information returned to them? And, what new safeguards will be put in place to ensure what happened in Minnesota last week never happens again? Hopefully the White House meeting today will produce answers to these important questions that affect the security of millions of Americans."

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