Capitol to Courthouse Headliners: Friday, May 14

May 14, 2010



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Miami-Dade Family First in Florida to Take on Chinese Drywall

Homeowners hope lawsuit will bring them relief.

The demolition was underway Wednesday at a Miami-Dade home, as workers ripped out the drywall, baseboards, ceilings.


Florida senator calls for firing of state insurance commissioner

A Florida senator is repeating his call for the ousting of the state’s insurance commissioner, calling his behavior “reprehensible” and saying he is no longer trustworthy.


Consumer Federation of the Southeast to Crist: Sign Property Insurance Bill

The chorus urging Florida Gov. Charlie Crist to sign an omnibus property insurance measure passed by the Legislature is growing.


CFO Sink Announces $100 Million Savings for Businesses from Drop in Workers’ Compensation Second-Injury Fund Assessment Rate

Florida CFO Alex Sink announced today that Florida businesses will save an estimated $100 million as a result of her recent order reducing the assessment rate for the Special Disability Trust Fund, or Workers’ Compensation Second-Injury Fund. 


Survivors Can’t Forget Fierce Hurricane That Hit Florida in 1935

The seven elderly guests on stage at Island Christian Church were just kids 75 years ago when a Category 5 hurricane barreled into their homes in the Upper Florida Keys, leaving a trail of destruction and death.


Ex-officer accused in South Florida insurance scheme

A former Miami-Dade police officer with a controversial history is accused of artificially inflating insurance claims to get extra money in his adjusting business.


Crist signs Florida bill legalizing red light cameras

Red light cameras will be fully legal in Florida on July 1.


Editorial:  Putting Florida drivers, roads at more risk

Crist should veto increase in big rigs’ weight

Federal law limits freight haulers’ weight to 80,000 pounds on the nation’s interstates for good reasons. The heavier the truck, the more wear and tear on roads and bridges. The bigger the semi-tractor trailer, the more catastrophic the effects when one collides with a car.


Florida’s Brown & Brown buys Connecticut business

Brown & Brown Inc. has bought the retail insurance and brokerage-related assets of several Connecticut companies. No financial details were released.


Florida ramps up efforts to crack down on pain pill trafficking

Prescription drug trafficking has taken a hit in recent weeks.


Health Law Raises Questions About Future Of Florida’s Agencies That Care For Uninsured

Palm Beach County’s Health Care District “hired contractors to move ahead with a $9-million purchase and renovation project for a new headquarters, even though the need that drove the district’s creation in the first place — providing health care to the indigent and uninsured — could begin to dissolve in four years with implementation of the federal health law.


Florida judge declares mistrial in lawsuit against Big Tobacco

Willis’ lawsuit was among the first of about 8,000 cases statewide to take another look at an old legal battle over whether big tobacco companies or smokers themselves are responsible for health problems caused by cigarettes.


Florida Sen. Bill Nelson loses out on bid to increase oil damages cap

Sen. Bill Nelson’s hard-charging reaction to the gulf oil disaster ran into a wall Thursday, a reminder of how influential the industry remains.


$70.4 billion state budget in Crist’s hands

Gov. Charlie Crist was sent the $70.4 billion state budget Thursday, starting a 15-day clock for the governor to act on the measure.


Florida gets OK to begin high-speed rail project

The federal Railroad Administration has given Florida approval to begin designing, obtaining land and building the nation’s first major high-speed rail line.


Blog:  Homeowners left hanging by Florida Solar Rebate Program

Thousands of homeowners who installed solar systems expecting to be reimbursed for part of the costs from the Florida Solar Rebate Program are still waiting to see if the state will come through.


Immigration policy key to Florida races

The issue of immigration is emerging as sort of a litmus test for candidates in Florida’s busy political season.


Blog:  Lawton Chiles III poised to run for Florida gov

Lawton “Bud” Chiles III, the 57-year-old son of the late governor, is seriously looking at running against Democrat Alex Sink for governor.


Charlie Crist unleashed: A wide-ranging interview with the newly independent one

Something peculiar is going on with Charlie Crist.


Coral Gables-based BankUnited failure cost $815M more than expected

The failure of BankUnited FSB in 2009 cost the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. $815 million more than it initially expected.


1,000-Plus Calif. Insurers Agree to Voluntary Sanctions Against Iranian Government

California Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner announced that 1,010 insurance companies — more than 75 percent of insurers licensed to do business in California — have agreed to forgo future investments in 50 companies identified as doing business with Iran’s nuclear, energy or defense sectors.


Beazer Homes settling with Chinese drywall maker

Chinese drywall maker Knauf Plasterboard Tianjin Co. Ltd. has reached an agreement to settle with Atlanta-based national home builder Beazer Homes, according to three people familiar with the matter.


Senate Amendment Would Create Independent Securities Rater 

The Senate today approved an amendment to the financial services reform bill giving the Securities and Exchange Commission the authority to set up a Credit Rating Agency Board.


Property/casualty insurers argue against immunity repeal

Groups representing property/casualty insurers and other financial services companies have urged the U.S. Senate to reject an attempt to strip health insurers of their limited immunity from federal antitrust law.


Exemption for Louisiana Citizens not moving

A bill to protect the state’s property insurer of last resort from penalties for adjusting or paying claims too slowly has stalled in the House Committee on Civil Law and Procedure.


Arizona Privatizes Workers’ Compensation Insurer

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signed into law Senate Bill 1045, which repeals and amends state statute, directing the State Compensation Fund — known as SCF Arizona — to privatize and become a mutual insurance company, regulated by the state Department of Insurance.


Cat bond reinsures Chartis for U.S. hurricanes, quakes

Chartis Inc. said Thursday that it has obtained $425 million in reinsurance through its first catastrophe bond program.


Starmount Life Insurance Company Opens New Louisiana Headquarters

Company Admitted to 48th State

Starmount Life Insurance Company has opened a new, 24,500-square-foot national headquarters in Baton Rouge, marking the end of 12 months of construction and the beginning of a new period of anticipated, continued growth.


Milliman Analysis Indicates Pension Funded Status Declined $33 Billion in April

Milliman, Inc., a premier global consulting and actuarial firm, today released the latest update to the Milliman 100 Pension Funding Index, which consists of 100 of the nation’s largest defined benefit pension plans.


Data Shows Ambulance Fees Will Deter Emergency Calls for Help

Multiple data sources, including scientific survey data, medical studies and analyses of data in regions that have imposed ambulance fees, indicate that ambulance fees will discourage calls to emergency services for help, risking the health and safety of those experiencing medical emergencies. 


Insurance Regulators Wrestle With Definition Of “Unreasonable” Rate Increases

When Wellpoint proposed up to a 39 percent premium increase for some of its California customers, it touched off a storm of criticism that helped boost passage of the new health care law.


Barbados Meeting Analyzes Caribbean Climate Adaptation Study

Over the last two days, May 12-13, over 40 representatives from Caribbean and international agencies held a meeting in Barbados to discuss the initial results from a recent investigation into the Economics of Climate Adaptation (ECA) in the Caribbean.


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