TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WFLA) — Florida’s tort reform package cleared its first hurdle in the house civil justice subcommittee Friday. GOP leaders are calling it “Florida’s most significant tort reform overhaul” in state history.

“For a number of years,” Governor Ron DeSantis said, “we were ranked across the country as being the number one judicial hellhole.”

In response, lawmakers in Tallahassee took action.

Filing HB837, which aims to get rid of incentives to sue insurers. Something Republicans are hoping will lead to a drop in “frivolous litigation.”

“Today is the first step forward to bringing balance to an area that Florida lags among the states.” Florida House Speaker Paul Renner said.

HB837 changes Florida’s comparative negligence system to a “modified” comparative negligence system, so that a plaintiff who is more at fault for his or her own injuries than the defendant may not recover damages from the defendant.

The legislation drew a lot of criticism at the state capitol Friday from attorneys, policyholders, and even one Republican, Rep. Beltran.

House Democrats say reducing incentives would result in a decrease in access to the courts. 

“To put it very simply and plainly, there are no protections here for Floridians.” State rep. Ashley Gannt said. “The protections and benefits of this bill all go to big businesses.”

On Friday, Renner told reporters following the committee vote, “If insurers don’t do right by their insurers you know we’re coming for them too.”

No companion bill has been filed yet in the senate but republican leadership has already voiced support, including Florida Senate President Kathleen Passidomo and the governor.

The bill now heads to the house judiciary committee.