Capitol to Courthouse Florida Insurance Report: Friday, March 1

Mar 1, 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


9:30 a.m.–Florida Insurance Guaranty Association Board of Directors meeting.  Tampa, Florida.



Daily Florida Insurance-Related News


Florida class-action case takes aim at Citizens Property Insurance reinspection program

Thousands of Florida homeowners buffeted by higher windstorm premiums have sued state-run Citizens Property Insurance Corp. to recover potentially hundreds of millions of dollars in “back-door” rate increases driven by “arbitrary” reinspections of their residences.


Insurers Split Over Proposed Changes to Florida Guaranty Fund

Florida lawmakers have kept alive a bill that would alter the method of funding the state fund that pays the claims of insolvent property insurers even though the change could increase costs and does not have the uniform support of the insurance industry.


Higher home insurance costs likely under bills to shrink Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund

Home insurance premiums would likely rise statewide under bills that aim to shrink the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund.


Blog:  Coalition Launches To Support Reform Of Citizens Property Insurance And Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund

A collection of statewide business, consumer and conservation groups today announced the formation of the Stronger Safer Florida coalition.


Man trapped in 100-foot-wide sinkhole near Tampa

A man was missing early Friday after a large sinkhole opened under the bedroom of a house near Tampa and his brother says the man screamed for help before he disappeared.


Florida lawmakers hope to send message:  Keep your eyes on the road

Florida lawmakers have declared a war against texting while driving for the upcoming legislative session by filing seven bills that punish the practice.


St. Petersburg will grant some red light runners a free pass

Citing flaws in state law, Mayor Bill Foster said Thursday that the city will give some red-light runners a free pass until problems are fixed.


Florida Might Give Annuity Sales Law Even Sharper Teeth

Florida already has some of the strictest suitability standards in the nation for annuity sales to senior citizens.


Florida lawmakers warily assess implications of Medicaid expansion

In its first hearing since Governor Rick Scott announced his support for Medicaid expansion, a House committee heard state officials Thursday describe a range of complexities they face in enacting new requirements of the federal health care law.


Part-time state workers may get health coverage

Members of a Florida House panel reluctantly agreed Thursday that they would rather extend health coverage to part-time employees than pay a roughly $300 million fine under President Barack Obama’s federal health care law.


Will Weatherford’s “No” Does Nothing to End Speculation on a Governor Rick Scott Challenge

When asked if he has any plans to challenge Governor Rick Scott in the 2014 GOP primary, Florida House Speaker Will Weatherford mostly said no — mostly — but he didn’t emphatically rule it out.


    Area’s state lawmakers say Congress inaction could harm Florida recovery

    The vast, across-the-board federal budget cuts that go into effect today could have a ripple effect on Florida’s economic rebound, leaving some state lawmakers increasingly discontented with Congress.


    Blog:  Florida Senator Latvala Files Bill To End “Committees Of Continuous Existence”

    Senate Ethics and Elections Chairman Jack Latvala has filed a proposal that would eliminate the politically murky “committees of continuous existence,” which have thrived in recent elections.


    Judges side with online travel companies in tax case

    Rejecting arguments that counties have been shortchanged, a state appeals court Thursday sided with the online-travel industry in a major legal battle about payment of hotel bed taxes.


    Florida Representative Combee files bill protecting “warning shots” from prosecution

    A bill filed this week by Representative Neil Combee, R-Polk City, would protect those who fire “warning shots” in self-defense from prosecution.


    Representative Patronis is back with another permitting bill — and some groups are not thrilled

    Representative Jimmy Patronis is back for the third straight year with a comprehensive environmental permitting bill that is backed by business groups and raising concerns with other groups.


    Blog:  Senators Diaz de la Portilla, Grimsley, Margolis start re-election bids

    Senator Miguel Diaz de la Portilla has filed paperwork indicating he will seek re-election in 2014 in District 40, according to the state Division of Elections website.


    House Speaker Will Weatherford announces new app for Florida House access

    House Speaker Will Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel, announced today the House is ready to launch an app that will allow Floridians more access than ever to the actions of state lawmakers in the upcoming session.


    State Representative Vic Torres–Longtime Union Activist Looking Out for the Little Guy

    Several of Florida’s elected officials are the scions of political dynasties, with kids taking after their parents or even grandparents to pursue a career in public service.


    Lew Confirmation Could Clear Way for Delayed Federal Insurance Initiatives

    The confirmation of Jacob Lew as secretary of the Treasury late Wednesday clears the way for action on several insurance-related issues, including the release of a long-delayed report on insurance-regulation modernization.


    Waters addresses halted force-placed insurance reform

    Congresswoman Maxine Waters released a letter to acting director Edward DeMarco of the Federal Housing Finance Agency questioning the FHFA’s recent decision to prohibit Fannie Mae from moving forward with a plan to save taxpayers as well as borrowers from high costs related to force-placed insurance.


    Louisiana Commissioner Praises Court Ruling on Emergency Rule

    Louisiana Commissioner of Insurance Jim Donelon announced he is pleased that the 19th Judicial District Court has upheld an emergency rule put in place during Hurricane Isaac and his authority to do so during catastrophic events.


    Blog:  Texas Bills Look to Address Mitigation, Wind Pool

    This week, two important pieces of legislation began moving through the Texas Legislature.



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