Capitol to Courthouse Headliners–Monday, April 13

Apr 13, 2009

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Florida home insurance legislation mainly favors the insurers

Of the 36 homeowner insurance bills proposed by the Legislature, half would benefit insurers — a dozen of which already have passed at least one legislative committee.

The main property insurance legislation gaining momentum this year in Tallahassee is a departure from laws passed in 2007 and 2008 that aimed to lower homeowner insurance premiums and beef up the state’s authority to hold insurers accountable.


Property insurance bills proposed by Florida legislators

This chart outlines the status and descriptions of key property insurance legislation so far, including which bills would benefit insurers.


Are Florida’s home insurers in good hands at Capitol?

The main property-insurance legislation gaining momentum this year in Tallahassee is a departure from laws passed in 2007 and 2008 that aimed to lower homeowner-insurance premiums and beef up the state’s authority to hold insurers accountable.


Kevin McCarty: Insurance chief offers clarification on records

Re: “Florida plays ostrich in insurance crisis” (My View, April 8): I applaud Don Crane’s efforts to evaluate the issues related to hurricane risk as our state continues to address this complicated problem.


Chinese drywall scare hits South Florida, nation

At the height of the housing boom, when building materials were in short supply, American construction companies used millions of pounds of Chinese-made drywall because it was abundant and cheap.


First-Ever Chinese Drywall Litigation Conference Set for June 4-5 in Orlando

HarrisMartin Publishing, a premier provider of legal news and continuing legal education conferences, announced today that it will host the nation’s first-ever Chinese Drywall Litigation Conference, June 4 and 5 at the JW Marriott Grande Lakes hotel in Orlando.


Severe weather puts Fla. flood recovery on hold

More severe weather is putting flood recovery and damage assessment efforts on hold in North Florida.


Cities Turn to Fees to Fill Budget Gaps

After her sport utility vehicle sideswiped a van in early February, Shirley Kimel was amazed at how quickly a handful of police officers and firefighters in Winter Haven, Fla., showed up.


Editorial: Stop the annuity scammers

Last year, Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink urged the Legislature to crack down on the financial scamming of older Floridians.


Weston lawmaker’s cancer legislation faces criticism

A bill in Congress to fight cancer in young women, championed by Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, has come under some surprisingly strong criticism.

Two days after she disclosed her private battle with cancer, U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz began championing legislation that calls for spending $45 million over the next five years to boost awareness of breast cancer risks among younger women.


Federal stimulus cash pumped through Florida’s budget

To balance the budget and help spur the economy, legislators are ready to pour $4 billion in federal stimulus money into the state.

A massive $4 billion in federal stimulus money is about to be pumped into Florida to build more roads, serve more senior meals, aid disadvantaged kids and even help fight forest fires.


Budget forces lawmakers into difficult choice

It may be pay cuts, or it may be layoffs – but one way or another, state employees will take a hit when the Legislature finishes its budget for the coming year.


Florida House expected to vote on gaming package

The Florida House is poised to pass its gambling package Monday afternoon, giving South Florida racinos a tax break in return for at least $140 million for education.


GOP agenda loses traction in Florida Senate

Legislation that would open the door to school prayer and discourage teaching evolution has been declared dead.


Florida Gov. Charlie Crist’s anti-tax reputation comes under strain

In a political career spanning nearly two decades, Republican Gov. Charlie Crist has one tie that’s bound him to the conservative cause: staunch opposition to taxes.


Cigarette tax bill personal to Deutch

It was supposed to be his shining moment, an opportunity not usually afforded Democrats so relatively new to the legislature – a vote on his big bill by the all-important Senate Ways and Means Committee.


State senators want Indian cigarettes labeled, barred from non-Indians

In an attempt to suppress the sale of tax-free cigarettes sold on Florida’s Indian reservations, state senators want the tribes’ smokes labeled “Indian cigarettes” and any non-Indian caught with them forced to pay a $1,000 fine and face misdemeanor charges.


Governor’s race may be hotly contested

A rare wide-open race for the U.S. Senate in Florida was supposed to create one of the most competitive elections in decades.


Crist not looking like Senate run is in doubt

If Charlie Crist isn’t planning to run for the Senate in 2010, he certainly seems to relish encouraging people to think so.


Pals Aronberg, Smith mull run for state attorney general

State Sen. Dave Aronberg, D-Greenacres, and former state senator and 2006 gubernatorial hopeful Rod Smith are friends who talk regularly.


Florida poised to become leader in solar energy

Solar power in the Sunshine State has exploded in the past three years, providing millions of dollars in new projects and hundreds of jobs even as most of Florida’s economy withered.


Ship Insurance Soars, With No Piracy Antidote In Sight

Despite international efforts that have suppressed some attacks on Gulf of Aden shipping, the piracy problem is escalating along with a 10-fold increase in vessel insurance rates, a maritime expert said.


Think Tanks Dispute Need For State Insurance Regulation

Reasons for supporting state regulation of insurance voiced by some governors don’t withstand detailed scrutiny, officials at several Washington conservative think tanks said in a letter to congressional leaders.


P-C Operating Model Superior To Banks, Hartwig Says

U.S. property-casualty insurers have weathered the global financial crisis well because of a superior risk management model, Robert Hartwig, president of the Insurance Information Institute, told an industry conference today.


Standard & Poor’s Publishes White Paper on Credit Rating Agency Business Models

Standard & Poor’s today published a white paper examining investors’ needs and how various business models for credit rating firms could meet them.


Consumer Advocates Watching How Insurers Treat Credit in Recession

With consumers’ credit scores dropping as lenders tighten credit terms, insurance consumer advocates are stepping up their criticism of the use of credit scores by insurance companies.


ECM Solutions Could Benefit Firms, But Awareness Lacking

Many insurers are overlooking a system to capture, manage and store unstructured data that can ease information workloads, help them deal with regulatory compliance and improve operational accountability, a recent survey has found.


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