Capitol to Courthouse Headliners: Monday, April 26

Apr 26, 2010



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CFO Sink Asks Insurance Commissioner McCarty for Information on Florida Insurers in Preparation for Hurricane Season

Florida CFO Alex Sink today released a letter to OIR Commissioner Kevin McCarty inquiring whether any additional actions may be necessary by OIR prior to hurricane season to ensure authorized property insurers are financially capable of meeting their obligations through the course of the 2010 hurricane season. 


CFO Sink Appoints Harold M. Knowles to Citizens Board of Governors

Florida CFO Alex Sink today announced the appointment of Harold M. Knowles to the Board of Governors for Citizens Property Insurance Corporation, effective April 21, 2010, through July 31, 2011. Citizens is one of the largest property and casualty insurance companies in the nation and the largest property insurer in Florida.


Insurance bills near zero hour in Tallahassee

When Republican leaders, under threat of veto, pulled a bill that would allow property insurers to raise rates without regulation, many consumers breathed a sigh of relief. Not so fast.  Another bill, passed by the Senate on Friday, would allow property insurance companies to automatically raise rates as much as 10 percent a year.


Florida Property Insurance Reform Could Happen This Week

The Florida Senate has got its property insurance reform bill back on the track for the final week of the legislative session.


Blog:  Legislators close on measure to allow property insurance rate hikes

A House bill to allow property insurers to boost policyholders’ premiums by up to 20 percent probably won’t fly with the Senate given Gov. Charlie Crist’s threat to veto the idea. But there are several other parts of the sweeping bill, HB 447, and its Senate version, SB 2044, that could allow rate hikes and are likely to clear both chambers this week.


Florida Senate passes amended insurance reform bill

The Florida Senate has got its property insurance reform bill back on the track.

After being hung up in debate by amendments on Thursday, Sen. Garrett Richter ironed out some confusion on a timeline when homeowners would be paid on losses and also agreed to a sinkhole provision and got the bill (SB 2044) passed on a 32-4 vote.


Pacific Research Institute:  No sunny outlook for Florida’s insurance market

The sun doesn’t always shine in the Sunshine State. But for many career public officials, maybe the sun will come out tomorrow, and every day until the next election; and after that, the weather will be someone else’s problem.


Public Adjuster Reform Bill Passes Florida Senate

Senate Bill 2264 passed yesterday on a 37-1 vote, with Senator Rudy Garcia casting the lone “No.” A corresponding bill must pass the House before the legislation can be sent to the governor.


South Florida importer explains how he sourced Chinese drywall

The German owners of global conglomerate Knauf Group were aware of problems with high-sulfur Chinese drywall made at its subsidiary, Knauf Plasterboard Tianjin, as early as 2006, according to the October deposition of a North Miami importer.


House OKs using cameras to catch red-light violators

The House voted 77-33 on Friday to pave the way for statewide use of cameras to catch motorists running red lights.


Blog:  Florida Texting while driving ban DOA

A bill that would have banned texting while driving seemed poised to finally become law this year. House and Senate committees had pushed it forward with little opposition. The Senate will hear the bill this afternoon. Law enforcement agencies came out for it.  But, despite all the support, one powerful lawmaker doesn’t like the measure, and that will likely be enough to kill it.


Sponsors say Florida Medicaid overhaul dead for 2010

Sponsors of a massive House plan to overhaul Florida’s Medicaid system on Sunday declared it dead for this year but said they’ll try again in 2011.


Prominent member of Tampa’s WellCare board resigns

A prominent director and head of the board’s audit committee at Tampa’s WellCare Health Plans Inc. resigned earlier this week and raised questions about accounting practices at the Medicare and Medicaid company, the Wall Street Journal reported Friday.


Editorial:  Put chill on pill mills

Legislature is close to a good pill mill measure, and must reach a deal.


In Tallahassee today, final week begins will all eyes on Gov. Crist

As Florida legislators enter their final week of session Monday, they have only one job they are required to do – pass a state budget – but they are consumed by one question that has nothing to do with the session: what will the governor do?


Legislators inch toward budget pact

House and Senate budget chiefs agreed Friday on money for Florida Forever and a range of other issues, but will spend the weekend haggling over items ranging from crisis pregnancy counseling to trading state-run prison beds for private ones.


Florida’s growth management agency in peril

Here’s a lesson for middle-school students who will be required to take civics classes under a proposed law headed to the governor: Look out for closed-door shenanigans when a law gets passed – or not – in Tallahassee.


Florida jobs still focus as legislative session nears end

Expect the 60-day legislative session to end this week much in the same way it began: focused on the economy.


House votes to create Broward inspector general

In direct reaction to recent dirty dealings by Broward County politicians, the House voted unanimously Friday to create a Broward Office of Inspector General to combat public corruption.


Editorial:  A disappointing session in Tallahassee

Legislators need to make things right before hitting the campaign trail

A week remains for legislators to salvage a few successes from what’s shaping up to be a profoundly disappointing session in Tallahassee.


Editorial:  The do-nothings

With a week to go, the Florida Legislature is trying to wrap things up. As promised, our 120 representatives and 40 senators have focused largely on one issue, the budget, or rather the $3 billion budget shortfall. The 2010 session will go down as an unremarkable one, remembered most for the fiscal injury inflicted on public works, social services and government programs.


Crist faces tough decision on independent campaign this week

The last politician to beat Charlie Crist foresees “a very, very interesting race” for U.S. Senate as candidates take their places at the starting gate this week.


Rick Scott for Florida governor?

Can Naples man overcome late start, Columbia/HCA fall?

Florida residents can quickly become familiar with Rick Scott if they don’t know anything about him already.


New Florida GOP leader: Lavish spending is over

The new leader of Florida’s Republican party vowed Friday to end the lavish spending of the last three years that has become a political issue in a U.S. Senate race and says the party will release credit card statements in a bid for transparency.


As Tampa Bay area rail projects move forward, confusion reigns

Advocates for commuter rail finally have something to cheer about in Florida.


Casino Gambling Scene on a Hot Streak

South Florida’s gambling scene has been on a hot streak in recent years, as has the scene for high rollers.


HHS Secretary Sebelius Sees More Combat With Insurers

U.S. Department of of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius signaled the government will continue take a aggressive approach toward insurers who unlawfully deny healthcare coverage.


Former Louisiana Citizens CEO sentenced to 30 months in prison, $25,500 restitution

Terry Lisotta, the former chief executive officer of the Louisiana Citizens Property Insurance Corp. was sentenced this morning to 30 months at hard labor and ordered to pay restitution of $25,500 for illegally taking or spending about $30,000 from the state-run property insurer.


Bill to bolster wind pool going to Mississippi Gov. Barbour

The state Legislature has passed a bill containing an extra $20 million for the homeowners’ insurance wind pool.


Texas Denial-of-claims proposal, now in House, stirs passion

Legislation intended to ban insurance companies from offering bonuses to employees to deny customer claims could make it illegal to pay the salaries of any workers whose duties include investigation of claims, executives of several state insurers fear.


A.M. Best: U.S. P/C Industry Results Rebound

The U.S. property/casualty industry reported a strong fourth quarter topping off a solid year, according to rating analysts.


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