Capitol to Courthouse Headliners: Friday, April 3

Apr 3, 2009

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Insurers may get free rein on rates

For two years, Florida lawmakers and regulators have reined in property-insurance rates.


Lawmakers told to overhaul property insurance

A coalition pushes for reform to help prevent economic disaster.

A sweeping overhaul of Florida’s property insurance system is the only thing standing between the state and a financial disaster, a coalition of business groups, environmentalists and lawmakers said Thursday.


Florida House to consider insurance bill Friday

The Florida House Committee on Insurance, Business & Financial Affairs will consider a bill related to property insurance and the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund at a Friday meeting.


U.S. Rep. Wexler seeks wants emergency declared over Florida drywall

Congress is getting involved in the Chinese drywall issue, which has possibly impacted thousands of houses in South Florida and as many as 100,000 nationwide; U.S. Rep. Robert Wexler, D-Boca Raton, on Thursday sent a letter to Gov. Charlie Crist asking him to declare a state of emergency.


Heavy rains flood North Florida roads

Several days of heavy rainfall has saturated North Florida from the Panhandle to Jacksonville, and Florida Department of Emergency Management officials said the damage is severe enough to qualify for federal assistance.


Florida House, Senate about $600 million apart

Both Florida legislative chambers have released proposed budget bills. The Senate would spend about $600 million more than the House.


Analysis: Legislature 2009 at the halfway mark

The 2009 Florida legislative session reached its halfway mark this week. Here is where major legislation stands, along an  assessment on chances for passage.


Legislature unlikely to close sales tax loopholes this year

The tax proposals before state lawmakers are not likely to include elimination of sales tax breaks this session, the head of a key Senate committee said Thursday.


McCollum Deploys Law Enforcement Teams to Inspect Nursing Homes, Assisted Living Facilities

Attorney General Bill McCollum today announced he has deployed sworn law enforcement officers to 17 counties in the Florida Panhandle to ensure the safety and well-being of Medicaid recipients residing in the state’s nursing homes, assisted living facilities and other care facilities.


House panel passes no-frills Seminole gambling deal

The Florida House’s select committee on tribal gambling advanced a no-frills Seminole compact Friday that would preclude the tribe from operating so-called banked table games at its seven casinos.


Senate committee proposes pay cut for highest-paid state employees

As Florida legislators grapple with billion-dollar revenue shortages and painful solutions involving tax hikes and spending cuts, state employees have anxiously awaited some indication of how big a bite the budget will take out of their paychecks.


IRS may have bad news for Florida double-dippers

A new twist emerged this week in the debate over “double-dipping:” some Florida officials collecting both a pension and a salary could be facing federal tax problems, possibly even the repayment of thousands of dollars.


U.S. Rep. Mack won’t seek Florida Senate seat

U.S. Rep. Connie Mack will run for re-election instead of the Senate seat being vacated by Republican Mel Martinez.


THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA: Meek to travel state collecting U.S. Senate qualifying signatures

A day after revealing robust fundraising for the first three months of the year, U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek sought to continue the momentum in his race for the U.S. Senate Thursday.


Everglades questions grow as deal shrinks

Gov. Charlie Crist’s shrunken $533 million Everglades land deal will not restore the River of Grass and would leave the state with thousands of acres of low-value orange groves.


NASA inspector general resigns amid calls for his ouster

Robert “Moose” Cobb, NASA’s embattled inspector general, sent a letter of resignation Thursday to President Obama, and the president accepted Cobb’s resignation, which is effective on Saturday, April 11.


U.S. House Bill Submitted To Create Federal Insurance Charters

Legislation to impose some federal regulation on insurers and create a federal insurance charter mechanism has been introduced by two House members who said the American International Group meltdown underscores the need for their measure.


Legislators Introduce National Insurance Consumer Protection Act

Two congressional leaders introduced legislation today that would create a federal regulator for insurance as an alternative to the current state-based regulatory structure currently in plan.


Box Score On Faith Bills Puts Insurers Ahead, Says PCI

Bills to ease rules for bringing “bad faith” lawsuits in claim disputes have been introduced in a growing number of state legislatures, but so far insurance interests have been winning the battle to defeat them, an industry trade group reports.


Credit insurance in hot demand

Demand for credit insurance is rising fastest in nations hit hardest by the worldwide recession, including the United States, the chairman of credit insurer Coface said in an interview.


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