Capitol to Courthouse Florida Insurance Report: Friday, October 7

Oct 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


There are no insurance-related events scheduled for today.



Daily Insurance-Related News


Top insurance regulator abruptly resigns after clash with former Governor Jeb Bush

After four years as Florida’s top health insurance regulator Mary Beth Senkewicz abruptly resigned this week to “pursue other opportunities,” according to a release from the Office of Insurance Regulation.


Florida Lawmakers Contemplate the Future of Citizens Property Insurance Corporation

With four months to go before Florida’s legislative session, lawmakers are already considering the future of the state’s largest homeowners’ insurer. However, there are few easy answers in sight.


Sultan v. Safco Surplus Lines Insurance

Hilda Sultan and Craig Sultan appeal the district court’s order dismissing their claims against Safeco Surplus Lines Insurance for violations of Florida Statute § 626.9551(1), which regulates insurance field representatives and operations.


Blog:  Pulitzer Winners Go Behind the Scenes of Their Stories

It took three years for Paige St. John to complete her comprehensive Sarasota Herald-Tribune report on ineffective property insurance in Florida, where homeowners went essentially unprotected every hurricane season.


Water supply already low – and dry season has just begun

Despite three months of average rainfall, the county enters the dry season still short on water, because of last year’s drought.


Clinic finds loophole to bill Medicaid, despite ban for fraud

Ruth Reveron used her Hialeah rehabilitation center to fraudulently overcharge Medicaid by more than $1 million before authorities caught on, terminated her participation in the state-run medical program and turned her case over to Florida’s attorney general, prosecutors say.


Top Republican questions mail-in pharmacy requirements for state employees

“Is it a good idea, is it not a good idea?” asks state Senator Joe Negron. Senator says he wants to sort the issue out at an upcoming meeting.


Senate health budget panel gets good news on state spending

Agency for Persons with Disabilities Director Mike Hansen says spending is nearly within budget. Department of Health also reports spending on AIDS medication program is within budget.


Appeals court upholds new slot machines as lawmakers ante up on casino bill

Forthcoming bill likely would allow three destination casino licenses in Miami-Dade and Broward. And Representative Erik Fresen expects all gaming issues to be swept into one bill.


More state budget cuts loom, as lawmakers face a $2.25 billion shortfall

Another round of deep and painful state spending cuts for schools, health care and other Florida government programs looms, as lawmakers learned Thursday that they could face a budget shortfall as high as $2.25 billion in the coming year.


Florida Chief Financial Officer Atwater says Senator Mike Fasano should have access to State Board Administration records

Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater says state Senator Mike Fasano should be allowed to review documents from the State Board of Administration regarding a $125 million pension investment.


Florida Department of Corrections manager abruptly resigns

The high-ranking Department of Corrections manager who warned of an unbudgeted $25-million privatization cost that could “cripple the agency” abruptly resigned Thursday, saying “circumstances” made it impossible for him to remain.


Census revises, lowers number of same-sex couples in Florida

The U.S. Census Bureau released new estimates of the number of gay couples living together last week, saying that its original counts in the 2000 and 2010 censuses were almost certainly too high.


Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi spells out desire for oil spill claims audit

Florida’s attorney general spelled out a set of recommendations that would bring answers to a process that has been criticized for a lack of transparency.


Attorney General Pam Bondi asked to examine developer problem

State lawmakers who represent Marion County are calling on Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi to investigate potential incidents of wrongdoing by local developers.


Senate Majority Leader Andy Gardiner to Take Over 2014 State Senate

According to his supporters, Senate Majority Leader Andy Gardiner, R-Orlando, has the votes and will take over as president of the Florida Senate after the 2014 elections.


Tea party activists allowed to use space in Senate building

Florida tea party leaders Thursday proudly announced the grand opening of their “Tallahassee headquarters” for the upcoming legislative session.


Associated Industries submits thousands of comments in support of Keystone XL pipeline

Associated Industries of Florida, one of the state’s most influential lobbying groups, submitted 16,024 public comments from Florida residents to the U.S. Department of State yesterday, all of which are in support of the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline expansion, a hotly contested network of pipes that would route crude oil from Canada all the way to Texas.


Florida Senator Oelrich again files legislation to ban Internet cafes

State Senator Steve Oelrich has again filed a bill seeking to ban so-called “strip mall casinos” – Internet cafes that feature simulated slots games.


TaxWatch Creates Website That Compares Taxes Statewide

Florida TaxWatch, a nonprofit tax watchdog, has created a website that allows residents to find out how their county is taxing and spending their taxes, and how it compares to other counties.


Court sides with Florida in driver handbook dispute

An appeals court is siding with the state in a dispute over a controversial contract to produce official driver’s handbooks.


Floridians turn to online pawn shops

Online pawning is a trend that may be catching on with Florida consumers who need a quick, convenient personal loan to pay bills or take a vacation.


Feds Eye Texas Disaster Fund

Texas’ outsourcing of the management of more than $1 billion in federal disaster recovery funds to an engineering firm has raised concern.


State Farm Raising Home Rates in Alabama

State Farm will be raising rates by a statewide average of 5 percent in Alabama, but rates in the state’s two coastal counties will remain flat for the most part.


Insurer creates red-state strategy

The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association is teaching its member plans how to overcome conservative opposition to the Democrats’ health care law.


Barclay’s launches new insurance-linked security product for the global insurance industry

Barclay’s insurance-linked scurrilities will take the form of catastrophe bonds, which can be used as an alternative to reinsurance.




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