Capitol to Courthouse Florida Insurance Report: Friday, February 15

Feb 15, 2013


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


    2:00 p.m.–Florida Workers’ Compensation Joint Underwriting Association Rates and Forms Committee meetingTo view the meeting notice, click here.  To view the agenda, click here.



      Daily Florida Insurance-Related News


      Citizens’ Property Insurance chief Lacasa knows the value of insurance group

      When the Citizens Property Insurance Corp.’s Board of Governors meets Thursday to determine how it will fund the 2013 hurricane season, one person on the conference call has been a part of those discussion longer than any other:  Chairman Carlos A. Lacasa.


      Citizens Property Insurance wants to spend more on reinsurance, put less in surplus

      Never mind the risk exposure of state-run property insurer Citizens is shrinking – its board decided Thursday to spend more of its ratepayers’ money, $327 million, on private reinsurance in 2013.


      South Florida delegations urged to recognize reality of sea level rise

      Representatives of county governments that formed a regional compact say funding also is needed for water supply projects, beach and Everglades restoration to help communities adapt.


      Southwest Ranches wants out of state law exempting farms from building codes

      Another feud is brewing in this feisty rural town – a battle between multi-million dollar mansions and the traditional ranch house.


      Lawyers, Legislators Debate Changing Florida’s Expert Witness Standards

      For the third year in a row, a bill has been introduced into the Legislature that, if passed, would alter Florida’s nearly century-old standards for admitting expert testimony in civil and criminal trials.


      Red light camera repeal bill speeds through first House committee

      The narrow 10-8 vote was a microcosm of the close vote on the House floor in 2011 to repeal the red light camera statutes.


      Florida will not enforce Canadian drivers license law

      A recently enacted state law requiring foreign travelers to have international driving permits before getting behind the wheel in Florida has triggered anger among Canadians and other seasonal visitors.


      Jackson Health System dismisses trauma petition

      Jackson Health System announced Thursday it has filed a notice to voluntarily dismiss its petition for a state hearing that included a suggestion that the state revoke the provisional license for the trauma center at the Kendall Regional Medical Center.


      Florida Governor Rick Scott Hopes New Trucking Rules Lure More Business to Florida’s Ports

      In an effort to reduce paperwork for truckers while making Florida’s ports more enticing to those shipping globally, Governor Rick Scott announced regulations were being cut to help move cargo through the Sunshine State.


      Miami the New Wall Street? Preview of FOX Business Network’s “Tax Flight to Florida”

      Is Miami set to become the financial capital of the United States, if not the world? Florida, and the nation, might find out in the coming days as the FOX Business Network kicks off, Thursday morning, two full days of coverage examining just that question.


      Jim Greer whistleblower blasts campaign finance bill over loophole

      The man who blew the whistle on former Republican Party of Florida chairman Jim Greer is now calling foul on House Speaker Will Weatherford’s self-described campaign finance reform.


      Pension swap gets a boost

      Legislative leaders who want to make newly hired public employees join an investment fund similar to the 401(k) plans in the private sector — rather than having the guaranteed monthly pensions now favored by four out of five government workers — got a tactical boost Thursday from Florida TaxWatch.


      Realtors push for commercial rents sales tax phase-out

      Members of the House Finance and Tax Subcommittee heard a proposal Thursday to phase-out the state’s 6 percent sales tax on commercial rental property, which brings in $1.3 billion each year.


      Legislation would require 5-year plans for restoring Florida’s threatened springs

      The “Springs Revival Act” by Representative Linda Stewart, D-Orlando, was welcomed by some environmentalists as a good start.


      State GOP uses former Florida Governor Charlie Crist’s potential run to raise money

      The Republican Party of Florida is using the possibility of former Republican Governor Charlie Crist running for his old job as a Democrat to motivate donors.


      Jeb Bush touts “parental trigger” in Capitol homecoming

      Former Governor Jeb Bush returned to Florida’s Capitol to visit legislators Thursday and predicted a “parent trigger bill” allowing families to petition county school boards to put failing schools on a turnaround plan will be passed by the Republican-run Legislature this year.


      Enterprise Florida tries to fight off incentive critics

      Florida’s public-private job development agency is struggling to fend off pressure from the public, lawmakers and advocacy groups questioning why Governor Rick Scott should get more tax money for corporate breaks.


      The Florida Current’s 2013 Session Outlook:  State and Local Administration

      State agencies and government employees always have a lot at stake when the Florida Legislature convenes, and although this year’s agenda for government operations and state administration won’t be as controversial as those Governor Rick Scott put before lawmakers during his first two sessions, there are some major changes before the House and Senate.


      Alabama Commission recommends improving building codes, new insurance center

      A new center for insurance research and improved building codes were among the recommendations from a commission tasked with addressing the availability and cost of homeowners insurance in Alabama.


      No Insurance Implication for Weather Channel’s Decision to Name Winter Storms

      The Weather Channel’s decision this winter season to start naming severe winter storms in the U.S. – such as bestowing the name “Nemo” for the massive February 8-9 winter storm – most likely will not have any implication for “named-storm clauses” found in many property policies, the Insurance Information Institute said.


      U.S. Government Adds Climate Change, Weather Data Gaps to High Risk List

      Climate change and gaps in weather satellite data have been officially added to the list of high risks facing the federal government, a list that already includes the federal flood insurance program, Medicare and the Post Office.


      Business Week:  The Disaster Response Industry’s Salesmen of the Apocalypse

      On a mild and drizzly morning, a display of goods intended to meet every practical challenge that the Apocalypse might offer had been spread across 30,000 square feet of the cavernous New Orleans Morial Convention Center.


      Oklahoma Governor:  Audit of Insurance Department not Needed

      Oklahoma’s governor won’t request a performance audit of the agency that regulates insurance because the department had one late last year.


      Consumer Federation of America Blasts Decision to Nix Fannie Mae Forced-Place Plan

      Fannie Mae’s plan to reduce the cost of forced-place insurance by bringing in new specialty lenders was scotched by its regulator Monday, prompting outrage from consumer groups.



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