The Florida House voted Tuesday to repeal the state’s only cat property insurance policy, the Cat Property Protection Act, which was passed in 2016 to protect pet owners and their pets from damage caused by cats.
The bill would have eliminated the state cat insurance program altogether.
“This is a major win for Florida’s pets, and it is a win for Floridians as a whole,” Florida Democratic Gov.
Rick Scott said in a statement.
“We can now take steps to end the cat insurance industry’s unfair, duplicative and predatory practices, which have cost the state more than $2 billion in taxpayer dollars over the past two years.”
The House voted along party lines Tuesday, and the bill now goes to the Senate, which must pass the measure before it becomes law.
The Florida Cat Property Insurance Program, which provides policy coverage for cats and other pets, was introduced in 2016 and was supposed to be up and running by the end of 2019.
A House committee voted last month to eliminate it entirely, with Republican leaders saying it was outdated and a burden to taxpayers.
The Cat Property Protections Act was passed by the Florida House of Representatives in 2015 to protect the state and its citizens from property damage caused when cats are allowed to roam and cause damage to homes, businesses, and other structures.
The legislation, which passed the Florida Senate in 2015, had been under consideration since the 2016 election, and supporters of the bill said the cat-specific program was necessary for Florida to combat a rising trend in animal cruelty.
The cat-focused program was originally meant to be completed by 2019, but legislators in the Florida Legislature have repeatedly delayed the start date, arguing that it’s not possible to keep up with rising cat populations in the state.