A comprehensive tort reform bill passed the Florida Senate Banking and Insurance Committee this week in an 8-3 partisan vote as lobbyists for and against the measure braced for a battle royale.

Both Senate Bill 236 and companion House Bill 837 have the support of Republican legislative leaders and Gov. Ron DeSantis, but groups that support trial attorneys, such as the Florida Justice Association, see the reform proposal as a power grab by insurance companies and an attack on access to trial by jury.

“If the corporate elites are empowered to grab away our right to trial by jury, which right will they feel entitled to take next?” FJA President Curry Pajcic asked in a prepared statement. “Will they grab our guns? Our right to free speech? Empowering the rich and powerful is not what this country was founded on and not something any of us should stand for.”