A Florida bill that would expand the state-run insurer of last resort moved forward Monday after lawmakers made some key changes. The House Policy and Budget Council approved the bill after removing a provision to freeze rates offered by Citizens Property Insurance through 2008. Gov. Charlie Crist supports the bill, saying it will drive down insurance rates in the state. Some insurance groups warn that allowing Citizens to compete more freely will increase risk for businesses and residents. "We can ignore reality for as long as we like," says William Stander, a lobbyist for the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America. "But reality will not ignore us."

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