Capitol to Courthouse Headliners: Friday, May 15
May 15, 2009
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Gov. Charlie Crist declared a statewide state of emergency Thursday because of extreme drought conditions in central Florida that have made the area tinderbox ripe for wildfires.
Clearwater-based Homeowners Choice Inc. posted strong gains in revenue and profit after assuming policies from Citizens Property Insurance Corp.
The fate of legislation that would allow Florida’s largest property insurers to raise homeowners rates as much as they want rests with Gov. Charlie Crist, who may not want to make waves as he runs for U.S. Senate.
Officials of a Florida independent agent’s trade group, the Florida Association of Insurance Agents (FALA), hit state legislators Thursday for what they said were actions on insurance putting homeowners at financial risk in the event of a big hurricane.
Open up market for big property insurers
Gov. Charlie Crist faces an intriguing dilemma over his decision on the fate of a property insurance measure known as the Consumer Choice Bill.
Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty’s assertions that Florida has “one of the most” competitive property insurance markets and easing rate regulation will not encourage private carriers to return to Florida, are both open to serious question.
Florida Power & Light plans to spend $85 million this year hardening electrical lines for critical infrastructure.
Continuing to harden the power system to better withstand hurricanes, Florida Power & Light announced this year it’s strengthening the electrical lines around 14 hospitals and acute care facilities in Miami-Dade and 10 similar facilities in Broward.
State Farm may be locked in an epic battle with Gov. Charlie Crist and the state over its plan to drop more than 1 million policies and withdraw from Florida’s property insurance market.
Gov. Charlie Crist praised Florida’s emergency responders Thursday, but not before shaking off reporters challenging his political commitment to Florida and the Republican Party.
Three statewide politicians who oversee the state agency that invests billions of dollars in government assets finally agreed this week to exercise more direct oversight.
It’s all about politics now.
Federal agents rounded up three Miami-Dade men accused of bilking Medicare of millions of dollars at clinics in five states. Some of the clinics didn’t even exist.
Reform of the worker’s compensation system is a perennial issue, with businesses and employees at odds over medical costs and litigation.
In a case of odd bedfellows, consumer groups have joined the state’s largest insurer in seeking a veto of a bill that would make it easier for doctors to treat health plan patients without joining the plan’s network.
Gov. Charlie Crist signed a no-new-taxes pledge Thursday, indicating that while he’s running for the U.S. Senate he might veto some of the fees and taxes legislators raised to balance Florida’s budget.
Environmentalists across the state are urging Gov. Charlie Crist to veto a newly passed growth management bill that was sponsored by state Sen. Mike Bennett, R-Bradenton.
A day after winning approval for his landmark Big Sugar land purchase, Gov. Charlie Crist thanked water managers in person.
When state lawmakers adopted a proposed constitutional amendment on property taxes late in their spring session, it came as something of a surprise even to those who backed it.
The ball is in the Seminole Tribe’s court.
Attorney General Bill McCollum will announce Monday that he’s running for governor.
Lt. Gov. Jeff Kottkamp said he considered a run for governor, but now says it’s “almost a certainty” he will run for attorney general.
The interests of Floridians – not political parties – should be paramount as candidates jockey for position in the state’s 2010 elections.
With the primary more than 15 months away, two first-time candidates have already tossed their names into the House District 57 race.
Opening statements began Thursday in a wrongful death lawsuit that pits a Pensacola widow against tobacco giant R.J. Reynolds.
President Barack Obama is poised to pick a nominee to lead NASA as early as next week, and former astronaut Charles Bolden remains a contender.
The Treasury Department said Thursday night it had approved Allstate Corporation and five other insurers to get taxpayer rescue money under its multibillion-dollar Capital Purchase Program.
Consumer advocate and former insurance regulator J. Robert Hunter said Thursday in congressional testimony that the federal government should take over capital, surplus and solvency regulation of insurance.
The chairman of a key subcommittee of the House Financial Services Committee today said he intends to move quickly to impose direct federal oversight of insurance, starting with a system to regulate systemic risk.
A trial against the Army Corps of Engineers for the flooding of eastern New Orleans, the Lower 9th Ward and St. Bernard Parish during Hurricane Katrina ended Thursday after four weeks of testimony.
Residents to urge national leaders to restore Louisiana’s coast
With the 2009 Atlantic hurricane season just three weeks away, the America’s WETLAND Foundation (AWF) today announced it will bring together coastal residents for public demonstrations and rallies to urge national leaders to restore Louisiana’s coast, the state’s first line of defense against storm surge and an area vital to U.S. security.
Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood has asked a court to block renewed efforts to make public a settlement agreement between his office and insurer State Farm Fire & Casualty Co. that was part of their feud over homeowner claims from Hurricane Katrina.
A fleet of newly designed mobile homes was rolled out here yesterday by federal officials to replace the much-criticized travel trailers used after Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
A U.S. Senate subcommitee has scheduled a long-awaited hearing on the issue of tainted Chinese drywall for next week.
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