Watch CBS News

South Florida Lawmakers, Surfside Victims' Families Want Condo Reform Brought Up In Special Session

MIAMI (CBSMiami) - South Florida Democratic leaders joined forces with family members of those who died in the Surfside collapse to call on lawmakers to put condo reform on the agenda during next week's special session on redistricting.

It's been nearly 10 months since the Champlain Towers South collapsed, killing 98 people. They want legislators to stop stalling and get to work.

"This could all be prevented, so many lives could be saved if we do the right thing, if the House and the Senate work together to find a solution that makes us Floridians feel safe in our own homes. We need your help Gov. DeSantis before it's too late," said Martin Langesfeld whose sister died in the collapse. "We need your help Gov. Desantis. I truly believe you have the power to make things right by changing legislation."

"The harsh reality is that thousands of aging condos just like Champlain Towers South may face similar life safety problems and Florida has more than a million condominiums," said U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

More than three and a half million people live in condos across the state. State Democrats say DeSantis and the state legislature have done nothing to prevent another condo tragedy.

"I fear now that the cameras have moved on the state lawmakers who run Tallahassee have lost sight of Surfside the pain dulled, the urgency evaporated," Wasserman Schultz said. "The harsh reality is that thousands of aging condos may face similar problems and Florida has more than a million condominiums."

Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said she hoped the legislature would address condo safety during its legislative session, but the House and Senate could not resolve differences to come up with a law the governor would sign.

Critics said DeSantis was not engaged in the process.

"We are taking every action we can take for building safety but we really need the state legislature," Levine-Cava said.

During the last legislative session, bills were drafted in both the Senate and the House which received overwhelming support but a deal couldn't be reached.

Those in support of passing condo reform want legislators to come to terms so it can be passed during the special session.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.