Capitol to Courthouse Headliners: Friday, April 16

Apr 16, 2010



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Former Florida House Insurance Chairman:  Governor Crist’s insurance policies are harming Florida consumers

Within the last few days, the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation has announced that another Florida domestic homeowners insurer (Northern Capital Insurance Company) “is insolvent”. With that announcement, a dangerous and very troubling pattern is becoming clearer: Governor Charlie Crist’s reforms of 2007 are failing and thousands of Florida homeowners are being harmed.


American Consumer Institute: Breaking your property insurance promise

You probably have insurance on your home, car, and/or business in Florida. Because of regulatory and legislative actions since the hurricanes of 2004-05, you’re buying a promise from that insurance company that is either weaker than you expect, or more expensive than you know, and more likely both. A major cause is the role and size of Florida’s “public option” of Citizens Property Insurance Corporation.


Florida counties get U.S. Department of Agriculture disaster declaration

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has designated 11 counties in Florida as primary natural disaster areas due to losses caused by excessive rainfall that occurred from Nov. 11, through Dec. 23, 2009.


Florida Senators seek mortgage hiatus for homes with Chinese drywall

Three U.S. senators are asking Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for the same six-month mortgage relief being offered to Virginia homeowners struggling with Chinese drywall.


Florida company settles with Arkansas over car warranty robocalls

A Florida-based company accused of making thousands of automated calls offering extended car warranties to Arkansas residents has agreed to pay the state $40,000 and cease robocalling of any kind, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel announced today.


Florida Office of Insurance Regulation Announces Public Hearing on Market Impact of Federal Health Care Legislation

Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty today announced the Office of Insurance Regulation will hold a joint public hearing with the Florida Health Insurance Advisory Board. These entities will use the hearing as an opportunity to gather information related to federal health care implementation and its potential impact on Florida, specifically as it relates to the Medical Loss Ratio.


Florida House passes Medicaid overhaul measure

The House advanced its Medicaid overhaul Thursday, approving the plan that would steer 2.7 million low-income Floridians into HMOs and provider-service networks by 2015.


Blog:  $880 million budget bombshell: Medicaid windfall may not arrive

The Legislature and governor’s office is on notice: The extra Medicaid money the state was hoping for (to dig itself out of a budget hole) might not come from Washington after all.


Florida makes it easier for consumers to check out physicians’ mistakes

Florida physicians and other medical professionals beware: transgressions and medical mistakes are easy game for the public to examine on the Internet now.


Florida CEO Sink’s office recovers $4.4M since January

Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink reported Thursday that the Department of Financial Services has helped recover more than $4.4 million for Florida’s insurance consumers in the first quarter.


In Tallahassee today, focus is on red light cameras, Chinese drywall, the budget

As the legislative session nears its final two weeks, lawmakers are staying in town for a bevy of Friday meetings to consider a number of key measures.


Obama Unveils ‘Vision’ for NASA in Kennedy Space Center Speech

A defiant President Barack Obama, standing Thursday aside a mock-up of the capsule that he hopes will one day carry astronauts to deep space, rejected criticism that his administration was scrapping America’s human spaceflight program and outlined a vision that would have astronauts flying to asteroids beyond the moon in a little over a decade and circling Mars by the mid-2030s.


State senate quickly ratifies gambling compact with the Seminole Tribe

With a swift 29-9 vote and little debate, the Senate Thursday approved gambling legislation that ratifies an agreement between Florida and the Seminole Tribe, sending the bill to the House for a vote next week.


Florida GOP seeks amendment to FairDistricts ballot proposals

Republican lawmakers drove a proposed constitutional amendment through a House council Thursday, saying the measure is needed to expand on a pair of Democratic-backed redistricting proposals already set for the November ballot.


GOP lawmakers angry at Crist’s veto

Teachers in Brevard County and across Florida rejoiced Thursday after Gov. Charlie Crist vetoed the controversial merit pay bill. But Republican lawmakers expressed disappointment and more.


600 rally in Tallahassee as GOP leaders call for more freedom from federal fiscal policies

Republican leaders called for a “declaration of renewed independence” from federal fiscal policies Thursday as hundreds of happy, flag-waving conservatives celebrated income-tax day at the Florida Capitol.


March unemployment ticks up to record 12.3 percent in Florida

But jobless rates decline in Broward, Palm Beach counties

Florida’s unemployment rate hit 12.3 percent in March, a new record from the previous 12.2 percent posted in February, the state work force agency said. It’s the highest since records began to be kept in 1970. More than 1.14 million state residents are out of work.


Bill McCollum unveils his economic platform

Gubernatorial candidate Bill McCollum proposes trimming the state’s corporate income tax as part of his economic platform.  ”Over a period of six years, the state of Florida will grow 500,000 new jobs,” McCollum said of his plan.


Florida House panel to consider offshore drilling

A new offshore drilling bill would permit exploration for oil and natural gas in state waters as close as three miles from Florida’s coast. A House committee will consider the bill for introduction Friday.


Tomato safety, inspection standards go to Gov. Crist

Gov. Charlie Crist is getting a bill designed to ensure the safety of Florida-grown tomatoes following a false salmonella scare nearly two years ago.


Florida House passes more sex offender limits

Sex offenders would be barred from coming within 300 feet of schools, day care centers, parks and playgrounds under a bill passed by the Florida House. It received a unanimous vote Thursday and now goes to the Senate.


Florida stores bracing for a rush on appliances

An appliance rebate program starts Friday but likely won’t last long.

Local appliance dealers are gearing up for the start of Florida’s cash for appliances program Friday by stocking up on more inventory and by having earlier hours, additional specials, help applying for rebates and full staffing.


Land deal done: Lee County now officially owns land for future Red Sox spring training home

It’s official. Lee County now owns 106 acres of land on Daniels Parkway, the future home of Boston Red Sox spring training.

The $20 million deal closed Thursday morning without a hitch. The ball team simultaneously closed on their portion of the deal, $5.5 million for 20 acres.


South Florida’s Turnberry Bank under deadline to raise capital

Aventura-based Turnberry Bank and its parent company agreed to cease-and-desist orders from federal regulators that gave the bank a deadline to raise capital.


National Flood Insurance Program wins extension

President Barack Obama has signed into law legislation that extends the National Flood Insurance Program through May 31.


MetLife Pays $13.5 Million to Settle U.S. Contingent Commission Case

MetLife Inc., the largest U.S. insurer, has agreed to pay $13.5 million to resolve a federal government investigation into improper payments made to a San Diego-based insurance broker, the U.S. Justice Department said on Thursday.


Insurer Wins Appeal in Lead-Contaminated Chinese Toy Case

A federal appeals court has ruled that an insurance company has no duty to defend against class action lawsuits filed in Illinois targeting the company’s insured, a Chinese manufacturer of toys sold in the United States that were found to have contained lead.


New York City Agents Vow Suit over Compensation Rules

A trade group for New York City insurance agents says it is launching a legal challenge against the state’s insurance department over new rules that would require agents to disclose their pay to customers.


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