Capitol to Courthouse Headliners: Friday, March 26

Mar 26, 2010



To view a complete story, click on a headline below:


Florida Hurricane Insurer Offers $2 Billion of Tax-Exempt Bonds

Florida’s government-owned Citizens Property Insurance Corp., bracing for an “above-normal” hurricane season, plans to sell $2 billion in tax-exempt bonds as early as this week.


Founder to repay $600,000 to Florida insurance company

State regulators have ordered a Florida property insurer to recoup $600,000 paid to the company’s founder for what turned out to be worthless bank stock.


Financial ‘storm’ dampens St. Petersburg-based United Insurance

United Insurance Holding Corp. said state mandates and reinsurance rate hikes pulled down earnings in the fourth quarter and full year of 2009.


Sun City Center homeowners look for help to repair Chinese drywall

A silver vase has turned black. The copper wiring behind the light switches have corroded, too.


FEMA Fraudster Indicted After Being ‘Victim’ in Florida and Four Other States

30 Fraudulent Claims in Disaster Relief for Hurricanes, Tornado, Flood

Desima James, 30, of Atlanta, Georgia, has been indicted by a federal grand jury on felony charges for fraudulently obtaining FEMA assistance funds intended for the victims of several different federally declared disasters.


Florida GOP beats back Democrats’ attack on McCollum’s health-care challenge

Florida Democrats launched multiple attacks Thursday on Attorney General Bill McCollum’s legal challenge of the new federal health-care law, including a motion on the state Senate floor to prohibit his lawsuit and calls for a state audit of his office.


Florida’s Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioners want power to prescribe

Florida Medical Association remains opposed to the measure

Give the state’s 13,000 ARPNs the power to write prescriptions for controlled substances, they argue, and expand health care to as many as 1 million more Floridians for free.


Education bills spark massive protest in Florida capital

The Florida Senate voted to put class-size limits back on the ballot Thursday, while across the Capitol, security guards rushed to protect lawmakers from a hostile crowd after a House committee rammed through a bill that would tie teacher pay to test scores.


Florida Senate panel OKs $68.6 billion budget

A budget bill cleared a state Senate committee Thursday with a contingency plan that would add $880 million in spending, mostly for health care, if Congress sends $880 million in additional Medicaid money Florida’s way.


Senate budget committee approves Florida pension bill

Public employees would start making a small contribution to the Florida Retirement System next year, under a bill approved Thursday by the Senate budget committee.


State Senate passes ‘Jobs for Florida’ bill

The Florida Senate unanimously passed a jobs package Thursday that would give tax breaks to a range of space, high-tech and film industries after scaling back proposed environmental and growth-management changes that had alarmed local governments.


Revised version of Public Service Commission reform bill emerges in the Florida House

A House committee gave approval Thursday to a sweeping bill to reform the Public Service Commission, but only after revising it in response to a veto threat from the governor and a harsh rebuke from the chairwoman of the utility board.


Press Release:  McCollum’s Legislation Preventing Pay-to-Play Politics Heads to Governor for Signature

House Bill 437 sponsored by Representative Eric Eisnaugle and Senate Bill 712 require common-sense provisions such as posting contracts and payments online, keeping detailed time records for private attorneys’ hours, and competitively selecting private attorneys.


Florida House expected to have full plate of bills

It’s the final deadline to hear new bills in the House, making for a robust platter of legislation that should slow down lawmakers in a hurry to flee the Capitol and return to their districts for a long weekend.


Florida bill no longer stops tax credit from going to films with ‘nontraditional family values’

An Orlando Republican on Thursday backed away from his definition of “family-friendly” in Florida after the proposal was derided as “discriminatory” and faced the glare of a national spotlight.


Florida lawmakers’ objections stall proposal to give property assessment break to Acreage residents over cancer probe

After running into flak from fellow lawmakers, state Rep. Kevin Rader today halted his plan to give a property tax break to Acreage residents amid the community’s pediatric brain cancer cluster investigation.


Once again, dog breeds in Florida legislature’s crosshairs, but why?

Legislator calls for more local control, but many question the need.

Howls of protest are rising in Tallahassee against legislation that would repeal the state’s ban on breed-specific dog laws.


Crist and Rubio square off in a Fox News debate Sunday

U.S. Senate candidates Charlie Crist and Marco Rubio will bring their battle for the heart and soul of the Republican party to a live television audience Sunday when they meet for their first debate.


Blog:  Poll in governor’s race has Bill McCollum leading Alex Sink 47-36

Rasmussen Reports’ latest poll has Bill McCollum leading Alex Sink in the governor’s race, 47 percent to 36 percent. The automated survey was conducted before the health care bill passed.


Florida’s unemployment reaches record 12.2 percent

Treasure Coast counties have higher unemployment than state average

After a sharp increase in January, the Treasure Coast’s unemployment rate fell slightly in February. Meanwhile, the statewide rate continued to rise, reaching a seasonally adjusted rate of 12.2 percent. That’s the highest rate ever recorded in Florida.


Florida Department of Transportation: Construction of high-speed rail could begin by February

Construction could begin by February or March for the high-speed rail line between Tampa and Orlando, with the first trains running by the first or second quarter of 2015, a Florida Department of Transportation official said Wednesday during a regional briefing.


Florida condo sales soar 59% statewide during February

Condominium sales soared across Florida during February, rising 59 percent from a year ago, with 5,085 units changing hands.


Coconut Grove Bank signs regulatory order

Coconut Grove Bank has signed a written agreement with federal and state regulators to improve its management of problem loans and investments.


National Leaders Met to Address Critical Emergency Preparedness Gaps

Enhancing military base and port resiliency in first 72 hours

Yesterday leaders from key sectors met to participate in a roundtable discussion and pilot planning session chaired by Senator Mary L. Landrieu (D-La.), Chair of the Senate Subcommittee on Disaster Recovery, to address a critical gap in America’s domestic response capability.


Louisiana Bills Would Ban Insurance Cancellations from Drywall Claims

Companies would not be allowed to cancel policies or raise rates on homeowners who make damage claims stemming from corrosive Chinese drywall, under two proposed state laws in Louisiana.


Maine Superintendent Kofman Reappointed

Maine Insurance Superintendent Mila Kofman has been reappointed by the state Senate.


Climate Survey Uncertainty At NAIC Meeting

The May 1 deadline for insurers to complete a climate risk disclosure survey may now have to be delayed to June or July, a key regulator said.


To unsubscribe from this newsletter, please send an e-mail to