Capitol to Courthouse Headliners: Friday, April 11

Apr 11, 2008

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Bill limits Citizens increases

An insurance bill making its way through the Senate now provides a small break for homeowners covered by the state-run insurer but ramps up regulation for private insurers operating in Florida.


Proposals could make or break state insurer

Call it an investment. Or call it a gamble.

Florida lawmakers are considering proposals that would take $250 million from the state-backed Citizens Property Insurance Corp. and loan it to private insurers as a way to entice them to write residential policies.


Senate Debates Strict Standards For Insurers

A Senate bill that would tighten the state’s regulatory grip on property insurers could hurt more than it helps consumers, critics of the legislation said Thursday.


Senator takes aim at leaders of property-insurance changes

What does it take to stand up to the powerful designated Senate president and the influential leader of the Senate Democrats and try to derail their bipartisan bill?


New insurer’s promise: Cheaper deal or $250 check

The founder of Florida’s newest property insurer is so confident that he can write cheaper insurance for thousands of state homeowners that he promises potential customers a $250 check if he can’t beat the price of their current company.


Republicans blast tax shift proposal

As a new statewide poll reveals lukewarm support for a major tax shift in Florida, Republican senators blasted the idea Thursday as “the bait and switch of the century” that would force them to increase taxes.


House passes $65 billion budget, gets tongue-lashing from Hasner

A divided House approved a state budget Thursday, but not before Majority Leader Adam Hasner blasted Democrats who he said did little but “point fingers, play games and hold press conferences.”


Lawmaker: State’s treasure could ease budget mess

As legislators scramble for cash in the worst budget crisis they’ve ever faced, tens of millions of dollars in treasure lies just within their reach outside the Capitol.


Floridians to see deepest cuts in government services in decades

As House and Senate leaders begin negotiating a new state budget, one thing is clear: Floridians will see the deepest cuts in government services in decades.


Health Proposals Differ

Competing plans from House leaders and Gov. Charlie Crist to reduce the state’s uninsured rate seemed Thursday to be heading for a collision that could damage the chances of either one succeeding this session.


Small business health pools get another shot from Congress

Some groups support the bill, while others say it won’t cure all ills.

A bipartisan group of senators think they’ve found a way to overcome objections that have derailed past efforts to reduce health insurance costs for small businesses.


Agency may fine FPL again

For the second time in four months, Florida Power & Light Co. is facing six-figure fines for violations at its Turkey Point nuclear plant in Miami-Dade County – and the federal government is looking into more “security issues” at the utility’s St. Lucie Nuclear Power Plant.


Senate panel OKs tougher gang penalties

A measure that would enhance penalties for known gang members moved one step closer to passage Thursday when a Senate panel unanimously approved it on its last committee stop before going to the Senate floor.


Crist signs bill, awards Crotzer $1.25 million for wrongful imprisonment

Alan Crotzer is not bitter. For the nearly quarter century he was in prison for crimes he didn’t commit. For two years he struggled to convince the Legislature to compensate him.


Lackluster lottery sales mean less money for Florida schools

Penny-pinching Floridians aren’t playing the lottery as much as expected and that’s bad news for state legislators trying to minimize school budget cuts next year.


The Council Wins Industry Changing Countersignature Decision

Nevada Countersignature Victory Affirmed by U.S. Circuit Court

The Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers won a major victory Thursday when the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals struck down Nevada’s countersignature laws as unconstitutional barriers to competition, affirming an earlier ruling by a U.S. district court judge.


Home foreclosure bill passes U.S. Senate

Florida Sens. Bill Nelson and Mel Martinez voted for a housing relief bill Thursday intended to help homeowners and builders, but both expressed disappointment the measure didn’t do more to help individuals keep their homes.


Flooded Businesses Will Profit From La. High Court Ruling

Tuesday’s Louisiana Supreme Court decision may have cast a cloud over many homeowners’ Hurricane Katrina claims, but it opened the door for flooded businesses to recover additional millions, according to one attorney.


Mississippi Wind Pool Rate Reduction on the Horizon

Mississippi Insurance Commissioner, Mike Chaney, approved an average 11 percent rate reduction request filed by the Mississippi Windstorm Underwriting Association.


FEMA: Faulty Pumps Could Change Bethlehem, Pa. Flood Map

Federal officials say failure to repair 15 flood-control pumps along the Lehigh River could cost Bethlehem property owners money.


California Workers’ Compensation Insurer in the Midst of Change

California State Compensation Insurance Fund has been facing many changes recently, but it has no intent to be the dominant player in the state workers’ compensation insurance market, according to Janet Frank, SCIF’s CEO. Looking back at the Fund’s 94-year history, SCIF has an “average sweet spot of 18 to 24 percent market share,” she said.


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