Florida legislators refuse to hike their health insurance premiums

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- Florida lawmakers want to keep their health insurance premiums lower than other state workers.

A Senate panel on Tuesday voted down a proposal to force 160 members of the Legislature to pay the same for health insurance as many other state workers.

Currently legislators pay $8.34 a month for individual coverage and $30 a month for family coverage. Rank-and-file workers pay $50 a month for individual coverage and $180 a month for family coverage.

Sen. Joe Negron said legislators should pay the same for health insurance as custodians and people who guard prisoners.

But other Senators loudly objected to paying more for health insurance saying they are already giving up time and money to be in the Legislature.

Sen. Gary Siplin, D-Orlando, said that lawmakers are "different from janitors."

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