TALLAHASSEE, Fla.  — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Thursday signed legislation establishing the Toll Relief Program through the Florida Department of Transportation, which will provide account credits to frequent commuters using toll roads across the state. 

What You Need To Know

  • Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed off on toll discount legislation

  • Starting Jan. 1, drivers who pass through toll booths more than 35 times a month, with a transponder, will be credited 50%

  • Bills approved in the special session on property insurance and hurricane relief await his signature

  •  As an answer to the insurance "crisis," part of that bill would require insurers to address claims in 60 days instead of 90

The program, passed along with two other bills this week in the Florida Legislature's special session, will give Floridians with 35 or more toll transactions per month a 50% credit to their accounts when they use some specific toll facilities. The Toll Relief Program begins on Jan. 1 and runs through December 31, 2023.

It is expected to benefit approximately 1.2 million drivers of vehicles with two axles who use toll transponders, such as SunPass or other Florida-based transponders, and will save the average commuter nearly $400 in the 2023 calendar year., according to FDOT.

“I promised Floridians that I would find additional ways to provide toll relief for Florida families,” DeSantis said. “With this legislation, we are keeping that promise to help hardworking families keep more money in their pockets. I applaud the Florida Legislature for prioritizing this during the special session.”

In the special session, legislators sent three bills in all to DeSantis’ desk for his signature. He has two weeks to sign off on the other two, dealing with property insurance and hurricane tax relief.

Property Insurance

Property insurance has been characterized as a crisis for homeowners in Florida since premiums can triple the national average. But lawmakers were divided on whether the legislation passed this week is really a good measure for the homeowner, overall.

Among its many details, some of the things the bill does if passed would be to protect insurers from consumer attorney fees, ban contractors from negotiating for consumers, and require insurers to address claims in 60 days rather than 90.

“The win today is the hope that we can continue to have insurance for everyone because without that, your home can be foreclosed on. It’s a very, very bad situation. So yes, there is an immediate win but not on premiums,” House Speaker Paul Renner (R- District 24) said.

But not all agree with Renner.

“We’re at a time when Florida has the largest budgets surplus in its history and rather than directly help homeowners — we provided a bailout to the industry,” House Minority Leader Fentrice Driskell (D- District 67) disagrees.

Hurricane Relief

Offering some relief measures for those Floridians whose homes were damaged due to Ian and Nicole, legislation allocates millions of dollars in funding for: affordable housing, relocation costs, rental assistance, and more.

There will be a refund on property tax as well, for the part of the year in which the home wasn’t in livable condition.

Lawmakers return to Tallahassee for the regular legislative session in March.