Capitol to Courthouse Headliners: Friday, April 9

Apr 9, 2010



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Citizens Property Insurance Corporation Closes $2.4 Billion Bond Sale – Strong Liquidity Program in Place as 2010 Hurricane Season Approaches

Citizens Property Insurance Corporation announces that it has closed on a $2.4 billion dollar bond sale, and will enter the 2010 hurricane season in strong shape and on firm financial footing.


Florida Insurance Consumer Advocate Launches Investigation into The Hartford

ABC’s Good Morning America reported on Wednesday that the Office of the Insurance Consumer Advocate has launched a special investigation into The Hartford Insurance Company.


State Representative Alan Hays to Offer Citizens Amendment That Could Lead to Costlier Policies

Lawmakers will consider a massive property insurance bill that would allow insurers to offer unregulated rates subject to annual caps on increases, among other things. Rep. Alan Hays, R-Umatilla, plans to offer an amendment that would lead to costlier plans from the state-run Citizens Property Insurance Corporation.


Florida Gets Failing Grade in Property Insurance

State representatives want bill that allows higher rates

Florida has failed to insure its residents’ homes properly, and it needs to allow insurance companies to raise their rates, said a coalition of House representatives and others Thursday. 


Florida Receives An “F” on 50-State Insurance Report Card

The Heartland Institute, a free market economic research organization, today released the Florida results of a 50-state insurance report card discussing the impact of state insurance regulation on consumers, lawmakers and the insurance industry. Florida was one of only two states to receive an “F.” The full report card will be released later this spring.


Drywall Ruling Gives Hope for Florida Homeowners

U.S. District Court Judge Eldon E. Fallon’s decision went far beyond federal regulators’ recent recommendations for fixing homes, and because the judge is overseeing the combined drywall litigation, his ruling could affect thousands of victims.


Florida opt-out bill runs into Representative Galvano

An effort to exempt Floridians from a key part of the new federal health-reform law stalled in the state House today after a powerful chairman raised concerns about its constitutionality.


Medicaid marathon set for next week in Florida Legislature

Senate leaders say they’ll hold lengthy work sessions two evenings next week to see how much of the House proposal to overhaul Medicaid they can accept. Both chambers want to move more Medicaid recipients into managed care.


Two plead guilty to Medicare fraud in Miami

Two Miami-Dade County residents pleaded guilty Thursday to participating in a health care fraud scheme that bilked the Medicare system out of nearly $11 million.


Florida House Passes Landmark Teacher Merit-Pay Bill

After more than nine hours of debate, lawmakers vote along party lines in approving historic bill. But will Gov. Crist veto it? The bill (SB6), identical to the Senate version that passed two weeks ago, upends the current salary system based on years worked and advanced degrees earned. In its place, it creates a new, complicated plan that eliminates tenure for beginning teachers and ties teacher pay largely to student learning gains on standardized tests.


New class-size amendment clears Florida House; will be on November ballot

A longtime push to scale back the 2002 class-size amendment scored its biggest victory yet Thursday as the Republican-led Florida House agreed to put the question to voters this fall.


Florida gets $9.3 million in grants for jobs development

The U.S. Department of Commerce has awarded $9.3 million in grants to create jobs in Florida, Commerce Secretary Gary Locke announced this week.

The Economic Development Administration grants are slated for a group of projects expected to create more than 500 jobs and spur millions in private investment throughout the state.


Casino-gambling compact moving through Legislature

A special House committee voted 15-3 Thursday for the deal Gov. Charlie Crist signed earlier this week. A little more than an hour later, the proposal was discussed in the Senate and set for a floor vote next week.


Florida unveils website for appliance rebate registration

After more than a weeklong delay, the Governor’s Energy Office has launched a website where consumers can reserve a 20 percent rebate through the much anticipated cash for appliances program:


Crist: I’m running as a Republican. Period.

The Charlie Crist U.S. Senate campaign sought to end weeks of speculation Thursday with a strongly worded statement saying flatly that — despite sagging poll numbers against rival Marco Rubio — Crist would not leave the Republican Party to run as an independent.


Blog:  Meek qualifies for Senate through petition drive

U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek became the first candidate in Florida history Thursday to qualify for a statewide ballot by petition drive.


Manager, senior adviser, finance director out as Sink campaign has shakeup

Trailing in the polls and facing widespread doubts about the visibility and effectiveness of her gubernatorial campaign, Alex Sink is shaking up her team.


Florida GOP taps Enron auditor to review party finances

Alston & Bird will sift through all party contracts from Jim Greer’s time as chairman

Mired in a financial scandal that threatens to drag into the fall elections, Florida Republicans have tapped a firm that investigated the Enron debacle to probe credit card charges and contracts tied to ousted chairman Jim Greer.


Full-Speed Ahead for Bullet Train Work can start without all funds in hand, Florida Department of Transportation official says.

In January, President Obama presented Florida with $1.25 billion in high-speed rail stimulus money for the Orlando to Tampa bullet train.


As Surveillance Cameras Catch On, Florida Police Catch Criminals

The eyewitnesses are everywhere, watching everything.


Bank big shots eying Georgia apply to start bank in Florida

A group of national banking all-stars said to have their eyes set on failed bank deals in Georgia and throughout the Southeast have applied with Florida regulators to start a bank in the Sunshine State.


450-acre development in the works in Sarasota County

A Toronto-based company is beginning design and planning work on a 450-acre, village-style development in northeast Sarasota County, marking one of the first new projects in the wake of the Great Recession.


Schwartzman Promoted to First Deputy Superintendent in New York

Martin A. Schwartzman has been named first deputy superintendent of the New York State Insurance Department, making him second in command of the department.


Alabama, California and Illinois Accident Tax Fights

PCI and its affiliate the Association of California Insurance Companies are leading the opposition to the practice of municipalities charging accident response fees when police or fire department personnel respond to a traffic accident. These fees are in essence an “accident tax.”


Aetna halting Medicare enrollment over sanctions

Aetna Inc. is suspending marketing to and enrollment of new members to its Medicare plans for the elderly because of sanctions imposed by the U.S. government, the health insurer said Friday.


Tort Reform Unraveled – Georgia Supreme Court Finds Noneconomic Damages Caps to be Unconstitutional

In 2005, the Georgia Legislature enacted a broad tort reform package which, among other things, capped noneconomic damages arising from medical malpractice claims (“Tort Reform Act of 2005”).


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