Capitol to Courthouse Florida Insurance Report: Friday, April 8

Apr 7, 2011


To go directly to the section of your choice, click on a hyperlink below.   Other hyperlinks to meeting information, bills and news are noted in bold type.



Daily Florida Insurance-Related Events


Florida’s 2011 Regular Legislative Session

  • Click here for today’s Senate block calendar
  • Click here for today’s House of Representatives block calendar


There are no insurance-related events scheduled for today.


Daily Insurance-Related News


Allstate Looking to Open 50 New Agencies in Florida

Allstate Insurance says it wants to open nearly 50 new agency offices in Florida. About half of those openings will be in north Florida, the company said.

Limits on Citizens could leave some homes uninsured

Even before the Legislature convened last month, Governor Rick Scott’s office signed off on legislation requiring sharp rate hikes at Citizens Property Insurance, an open door for private carriers to follow suit.


Legislators considering catastrophic-only sinkhole insurance coverage

Sinkhole claims continue to frustrate state lawmakers trying to contain fraud and staggering losses the past five years or so.

Governor Scott:  No state money for beach restoration

There were plenty of bikinis on Palm Beach County’s sunny beaches Wednesday, but shirt-and-tie-clad Rick Scott was all business as he evaluated the region’s shore erosion and what the state should do about it.

Tampa car theft ring leader sentenced to 13 years

A federal judge sentenced the leader of a sophisticated car theft ring to 13 years in prison Thursday.

News Release:  Chief Financial Officer Atwater Wants You to Help Track Down the ‘Most Wanted’ Insurance Fraud Fugitives

In a continuing effort to implement new strategies to combat insurance fraud, Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater today launched the “Most Wanted” insurance fraud website,, that will engage Floridians in the search for scammers who have eluded law enforcement.

Medicaid bill drops 90% spending rule for HMOs

Inching toward agreement on a Medicaid overhaul, a Senate committee today eliminated a proposal that would have required HMOs to spend 90 percent of the money they receive on patient care.


Northeast hospital to remain in state hands

The Senate scrapped a controversial plan to privatize a state mental hospital in Baker County, handing a victory to workers and community leaders worried about a for-profit company running the facility.


Blog:  Final budgets approved; conference late next week

Lawmakers voted Thursday to approve budgets slicing education and health care, asking state employees to foot some of the bill for their own retirement and largely staying true to the GOP majority’s promise to avoid tax increases – setting up budget negotiations and a potential showdown with new Gov. Rick Scott, reports Brandon Larrabee of the News Service of Florida.


    Courts crisis averted; Scott agrees to $19.5 million loan

    The looming chaos of furloughed employees forcing the closure of courtrooms across the state was averted Wednesday after Governor Rick Scott approved a onetime transfer of money to tide the court system over to the new budget year.

    Speaker Dean Cannon scales back Supreme Court reform proposal

    Facing backlash from judges, lawyers and senators, House Speaker Dean Cannon on Wednesday eviscerated his own proposal for reforming the state’s courts, dropping suggestions that judges receive 60 percent of votes to remain on the bench and that investigations of judges be made public.

    THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA:  Pension bills heading for conference

    The Senate and House sent each other differing measures related to pension benefits for government workers and refused to accept each others bills on Thursday, setting up a conference committee on the legislation, reports the News Service of Florida.


    Attempts to slim down professional deregulation bill fail

    Attempts by House Democrats to dismantle a bill that would deregulate about 20 professions went nowhere Wednesday.

    Prison spat:  Plan to privatize local state facilities withdrawn after it raises hackles

    Self proclaimed “free agent” state Sen. Mike Fasano introduced a legislative amendment this week calling for the privatization of six state prisons in Northwest Florida.


    ACLU challenges Florida foreclosure courts

    The ACLU challenged foreclosure courts in southwest Florida Thursday, claiming they are biased against homeowners and don’t provide the same rights as regular civil courts.


    Lobbyist Barreto to step down from state post

    Influential Miami developer and lobbyist Rodney Barreto is stepping down as chairman of a small but powerful commission that oversees fish and wildlife statewide.

    House Speaker Dean Cannon:  I didn’t try to ban use of word ‘uterus’

    House Speaker Dean Cannon has heard enough talk about an Orlando lawmaker’s use of the word “uterus.” But he’s not banning the word from the House floor.

    States, Amtrak vying for Florida’s rejected high-speed train money

    Twenty-four states, the District of Columbia and Amtrak are vying for $2.4 billion in federal aid that became available when Florida’s governor canceled a high-speed rail project in his state, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said today.

    Conservation groups say Florida lawmakers going too far “streamlining” growth management laws

    State lawmakers – reciting Governor Rick Scott’s mantra that reducing regulations will spark the sluggish economy – are on the verge of a major “streamlining” of growth management laws.

    Law gives Florida’s electric monopolies control of solar energy

    Two opposite ways to approach solar energy in Florida, long overdue.

    Miami will fight Census figures, believes population over 500,000

    Miami, suffering the same budget constraints as many other major U.S. cities, has begun a challenge to the 2010 Census count that put the city’s population at just under 400,000 – a move that if successful could eventually net the city tens of millions of dollars.


    Jackson files for Florida’s funding

    With four weeks to go in the legislative session, Jackson Laboratory has filed its application for $100 million in state funding to build a personalized medicine institute in Sarasota County.


    Alabama Governor to Form Coastal Insurance Panel

    Alabama Governor Robert Bentley is creating a commission to address the rising cost of insurance for the state’s coastal homeowners.


    Tennessee Governor Urged to Sign Personal Lines Flexible Rating Bill

    Tennessee lawmakers have passed a bill allowing property/casualty insurers to implement rate adjustments for personal auto and home insurance policies without prior state approval.

    National Council on Compensation Insurance’s 2011 Issues Report Presents a Cautionary Tale

    The latest NCCI 2011 Issues Report calls attention to “significant deterioration” in the workers’ compensation product line.




    To unsubscribe from this newsletter, please send an e-mail to