JIM BOYD, Republican
FAMILY: Spouse: Sandy; daughter, 27; son, 25
EDUCATION: B.S., business/psychology, Florida State University
PROFESSIONAL CAREER HIGHLIGHTS: Joined the family insurance agency out of college. Acquired with a partner the business from my uncle and later started a commercial real estate brokerage. In 1998, helped found Manatee River Bank, which merged with First America Bank. Currently serve as vice chairman of First America.
FUN FACT: In 1989, while serving as the vice mayor of Palmetto, I became mayor for two months to fill the vacancy left by the outgoing mayor.
What is your position on Citizens Property Insurance Co.? What role should the state play in insuring private property?
Citizens Property Insurance should return to being the market of last resort. Until we get Citizens stable, it is unlikely more insurers will come back to the market here.
I am advocating for adequate rate increases being charged at Citizens by area, but our area should not be charge unnecessarily high rates to make up for what is needed, say, in Miami-Dade, where they need higher rate increases to cover their exposure adequately.
Ultimately, property ought to be insured in the private market. One possibility to get closer to that is to have Citizens go back to what it started out as — a wind storm pool.
What is your position on the state of Florida regulating property insurance rate increases and pricing?
Consumers need to understand that if property insurance is more market-based, they would still be protected. The state Department of Insurance should oversee the industry so that it maintains its solvency, and then ultimately the market should set the rates.
Why should the state control property insurance rates when we know that this policy has restricted competition and limited the number of companies willing to sell property insurance here?
There is a reason for state involvement in insurance — the solvency and stability of the companies insuring property owners. But it shouldn’t be oppressive with regulations.
What is your position on: 1) School choice and school vouchers? 2) Teacher tenure — in K-12 and the college level?
I support school choice and vouchers. Competition makes everything better.
I also believe in public education. I’m a product of public education. Still, the more competition you have, the better things will be. That’s critical for the education process.
As for tenure, we [the Legislature] eliminated tenure at the K-12 level, and I believe that was a good thing. I have heard from parents and teachers over and over again how hard it is to get rid of bad teachers. If I do a bad job, then I should be fired.
As for eliminating tenure at the college level, I haven’t studied that. I would like to study it more. But it’s the same as with K-12, if someone is not getting the job done, there should be a mechanism to move that person out.
What, in your view, is the proper role of state government in public education?
I don’t support a big state organization that dictates controls over the local schools. I want as much control as we can being given to the districts.
What is your position on the FCATs?
We’re kind of phasing FCATs out. I do support some type of end-of-course testing, but I don’t know FCATs are the best way to capture that.
What is your position on the state providing corporate welfare to companies that either expand or move to Florida? How and why are these subsidies morally acceptable?
I speak as an elected official and as a business owner. I believe there is a place for incentives, but there needs to be strong accountability and measurement attached to them.
Will you take the Americans for Tax Reform pledge not to increase taxes if you are elected or re-elected? If not, why not?
I’m a conservative businessman. My goal in Tallahassee is to reduce taxes, reduce the government burden on businesses and the individual. I would never say I wouldn’t increase taxes, but it would take something of major significance for me to raise taxes.
Medicaid costs are increasing at almost double-digit annual rates. How do you think Florida should handle the growth in Medicaid?
Two years ago, we moved a portion of Medicaid in a pilot program toward a managed care model. We haven’t seen the full effects of that yet, but if we can generate savings there, then we’ll have more money to spread coverage over more people.
What will be your top three priorities if elected?
Job, economy, education.
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