Capitol to Courthouse Headliners: Friday, Mar. 7

Mar 7, 2008


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CFO Sink wants improvements at state’s investment agency

The board that oversees the state’s investments needs professional help, Florida’s Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink said Thursday.

State takes on securities brokers

Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink asked lawmakers Thursday to take stronger steps to help local governments that are on the hook for money the state invested last year in shaky, mortgage-backed securities.

Citizens aims to convert variable-rate debt to fixed-rate

The state-run insurer is looking to convert $4.75 billion in variable-rate notes to fixed-rate debt to protect itself from rising interest costs in the credit crisis.

House, Senate Leaders Agree On Budget Cuts

House and Senate leaders agreed Thursday to slice more than $500 million from the current state budget but remain polarized over an aggressive Senate plan to freeze Medicaid payment rates for nursing homes, hospitals and certain other health care providers that serve poor patients.

Panel sends competing property tax cut plan to full commission

A second major property tax-cutting proposal advanced Thursday in a commission that proposes state constitutional amendments, but only one is likely to go on the November ballot.

EDITORIAL: Port Richey Needs To Reverse Vote On Collecting Crash Fees

Unless Port Richey City Council wises up and reverses a vote from last week, the small city will become known as the most insensitive and unforgiving municipality in Pasco County.

Bill Targeting Foreclosure Fraud Clears House Committee

Foreclosures spike when the housing market fizzles.

Tempers flare over gambling bill

A plan to cut the tax rate on slot machines to encourage more gambling in South Florida turned tense at a legislative committee Thursday as gambling lobbyists turned on each other and a Republican senator accused a Democrat of drafting a proposal that was ”inappropriate” and “not believable.”

Talk of the bay: Financial whiz James says insurance rates don’t cover risk

Tom James has a message that won’t win him fans among Florida homeowners: Insurance rates need to go up – and soon.

Pruitt: I Won’t Go For Schools Post

Senate President Ken Pruitt wants there to be an elected state education commissioner, but if voters bring that Cabinet position back, would he be a candidate?

OPINION: Cheap paradise lost

The usual legislative back and forth pivots on fairly small-bore issues of budgeting and regulation.

County gives go-ahead to red light cameras

The wrong Kodak moment will soon cost red-light runners in Hillsborough County a $125 fine.

EDITORIAL: Worth The Cost of Admission

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is scheduled to speak at a $300-a-ticket gala this evening at Southeastern University in Lakeland.

Foreigners get `upper hand’ in Fla. housing market

Can the international crowd help South Florida get through the real-estate debacle? Many foreigners are shopping, but the hurdles to deals are high.

From atop any gleaming, half-sold condo project, South Florida’s housing market looks bleak.

Crist possible McCain running mate

It’s an unspoken rule of national politics: Never admit jockeying for the coveted role of vice presidential running mate.

Democratic revote may be by mail

Florida may yet put its stamp on this year’s Democratic convention.

Forget the notion of Florida Democrats packing schools and fire halls for an Iowa-style caucus, or lining up at their local precincts to choose between Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Sen. Barack Obama.

Senate freezes Medicaid

Florida lawmakers are cutting more than just dollars as they whittle more than $500-million from state government this year, they’re also proposing basic changes to Medicaid that critics say will undermine care for poor patients.

State Farm helps Punta Gorda’s neighborhood watch programs

State Farm has provided residents with insurance coverage in the event they become victims of theft or other criminal act. Now, the Punta Gorda Police Department and State Farm have joined forces to prevent crime before it happens.

Disputes Over D&O Cover Heated Up By Subprime Woes

Experts at a conference here outlined potential flashpoints yesterday between institutions defending class actions and their directors and officers liability insurers.

CDC Official: Reaction to Formaldehyde in Emergency Trailers Too Slow

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention should have reacted sooner to concerns about hazardous fumes in government-issued trailers housing thousands of Gulf Coast hurricane victims, a CDC official told a congressional panel.

Not So Funny: N.Y. Slaps Comic Franken with $25K Workers’ Comp Fine

The Senate campaign of comedian-turned-candidate Al Franken is dealing with a bump served up by an unpaid fine.

California: Family members held in vast auto insurance scam

They say nothing makes a man prouder than watching his children follow in his footsteps.

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