Capitol to Courthouse Florida Insurance Report: Tuesday, January 31

Jan 31, 2012


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 2012 Regular Legislative Session

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


8:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.–House Civil Justice Subcommittee.  To view the meeting packet, click here.

  • HB 1013 relating to Residential Construction Warranties by State Representative Frank Artiles

(CANCELED) 10:00 a.m.–Florida Surplus Lines Service Office National Clearinghouse Committee meeting.  To view the meeting notice, click here.

1:00 p.m.–Senate Session

  • SB 446 relating to Open Government Sunset Review/Insurance Claim Data Exchange Information/Past Due Child Support by the Senate Committee on Children, Families, and Elder Affairs

3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.–Senate Committee on Judiciary.  To view the meeting packet, click here.

  • SB 802 relating to Premises Liability by the Senate Committee on Environmental Preservation and Conservation

3:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.–House Government Operations Appropriations Subcommittee.  To view the meeting packet, click here.

  • HB 1127 relating to Citizens Property Insurance Corporation by State Representative Ben Albritton



    Daily Insurance-Related News


    Judge stops attorneys from seizing Louisiana Citizens’ Property Insurance money

    A judge late Monday lifted an order that earlier froze more than $100 million seized for homeowners who claimed that Louisiana Citizens Property Insurance Corp. dragged its feet on 2005 hurricane claims.


    Deadline today for mobile home insurance hurricane settlement 

    Today is the postmark deadline to submit a claim in a $40 million settlement involving more than 7,700 mobile home owners in Florida whose homes were damaged in hurricanes from 2003 to 2006.


    Workers’ compensation exempt from excess profits law

    Workers’ compensation carriers would no longer be required to return “excess profits” to policyholders under a bill approved by the House Insurance and Banking Subcommittee Monday afternoon.


    Florida’s FCCI Names Executives for Texas, Maryland Expansion

    FCCI Insurance Group has announced it is expanding its commercial insurance offerings into Maryland and Texas.


    Florida House bill would revamp medical malpractice litigation process

    A Florida House judiciary committee passed a bill Friday to grant greater protections for health care providers in medical malpractice cases.


    Licensed drivers decline:  Fewer have licenses in South Florida

    Driving seems essential in car-dependent South Florida.


    TIME:  Haze Causes Florida Highway Crashes, 10 Dead

    A long line of cars and trucks collided one after another early Sunday on a dark Florida highway so shrouded in haze and smoke that drivers were virtually blinded. At least 10 people were killed.


    Dream Of A Medical ‘Price List’ Dies In Florida Legislature

    Imagine if finding out the cost of a particular treatment or procedure at a doctors’ office was as easy as locating the prices of entrees at a restaurant.


    Brown & Brown Chief Executive Officer takes leave

    Powell Brown, the president and chief executive officer at Brown & Brown Inc., has taken a temporary leave of absence for health reasons, the company announced Monday morning.


    Florida Lawmaker Warns on Damages If Cuba Oil Drilling Spills

    Since the United States couldn’t stop Repsol from drilling for oil off Cuba’s coast, it should make the Spanish oil giant pay dearly for damages from any spill that threatens neighboring Florida, a congressional Republican said on Monday.


    Florida broke rules to gain influence on nomination

    Florida broke the presidential primary rules – again – but officials figure it’s worth a penalty for their state to maintain a relevant voice in nominating candidates for the White House.


    Expert warns that elections law already affecting voter registration numbers

    Daniel Smith, an elections expert and professor at the University of Florida, warned during a U.S. Senate hearing last Friday that the state is witnessing a decrease in voter registration numbers due to a new law passed by the state’s GOP-led Legislature.


    Fight over water pollution rules continues in Tallahassee, D.C.

    The fight to allow Florida to write its own water pollution rules continues at both the state and federal level this week.


    Craig Miller pulls out of Senate race to run for Congress

    Craig Miller has pulled out of the U.S. Senate race in Florida and announced he will run instead for Congress in the district newly-drawn to include Volusia, Flagler, St. Johns and Putnam counties – a race that could pit him against veteran Republican U.S. Representative John Mica.


    Key proposal left out of Senate energy bill

    A key proposal by Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam to encourage renewable energy production was left out of a Senate committee bill filed Monday.


    Homeowners and businesses who invest in renewable energy could get a tax break under plan  

    A Senate committee revived the stalled debate over renewable energy in Florida on Monday and moved forward with a bill to give $16 million a year in tax incentives to businesses and homeowners, beginning next year.


    Florida Senators scale back on local term limits

    A Senate panel pared back part of a measure that would have proved contentious when applying term limits to local officials.


    Florida Senators Say “Local Only” Purchasing Would Hurt Florida Businesses

    Boundary lines across Florida shouldn’t be a factor when a city or county considers construction contracts that involve state dollars, senators on the Community Affairs Committee said Monday.


    Florida House panel:  Let poor people eat cake

    Although the House Health and Human Services Access Subcommittee OK’d a bill that would prevent people from using assistance benefits to buy food such as candy, cakes or other items heavily laden with sugar or corn syrup, members criticized it as being overbearing government intrusion.


    Homeowners and businesses who invest in renewable energy could get a tax break under plan  

    A Senate committee revived the stalled debate over renewable energy in Florida on Monday and moved forward with a bill to give $16 million a year in tax incentives to businesses and homeowners, beginning next year.


    Libertarian group’s study bashes toll consolidation proposal

    A report from the libertarian Reason Foundation released Monday contends a proposal to consolidate the toll collection functions of Florida’s seven expressway authorities greatly overestimates the cost savings to be achieved from such a merger.


    National study:   Everglades pythons wiping out other animals

    According to a study published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, ever-proliferating pythons in the Florida Everglades appear to be wiping out large numbers of small mammals.


    How Big Sugar gets its way

    Many of the most influential American agricultural interests are headquartered in specific parts of the country:  The majority of peanuts come from Georgia, corn from Iowa and sugar from Florida.


    New Jersey Insurance Commissioner to Join MagnaCare

    New Jersey’s Banking and Insurance Commissioner Tom Considine will leave his post to become the chief operating officer of MagnaCare, a health plan service company in New York.


    New Jersey Governor Christie Names Acting Adjutant General Michael Cunniff And Ken Kobylowski As Next Adjutant General And Commissioner Of Banking And Insurance

    Governor Chris Christie today announced the nomination of two cabinet members to lead the Departments of Military and Veterans Affairs and Banking and Insurance.


    California Commissioner, Trade Groups Settle Iran Investment Lawsuits

    The California Insurance Department has dropped its efforts to force insurers to end their investments in Iran.


    Texas Supreme Court Decision Reaffirms Important Fundamental Workers’ Compensation Right 

    In a decision that workers’ compensation experts say is good for Texas employees and employers alike, the Supreme Court of Texas issued a unanimous opinion on January 27, 2012, that bars negligence claims against policyholders.


    Overall Captive Growth Strong in 2011

    Regulatory and other concerns did not dampen captive formation in 2011, with small captives, cell captives and group-health captives taking the lead, according to experts.



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