Capitol to Courthouse Headliners: Monday, August 23

Aug 23, 2010


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Florida Insurance Department to Survey on Sinkholes

Starting this month, the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation is going to begin surveying Florida property insurers about their experience with sinkhole claims, in an effort to get to the bottom of the simmering controversy over whether there really are more sinkholes in the Sunshine State these days.


Drywall deal in the works

Major parties meeting Tuesday

A mediation involving major parties among plaintiffs and defendants is set for Tuesday by federal Judge Eldon Fallon.


Shady roofers still trying to scam Wilma’s victims

It’s been almost five years since Hurricane Wilma hit South Florida surprisingly late in the hurricane season on Oct. 24, 2005, uprooting trees and ripping roofs.


Editorial:  Competitive bids provide checks and balances

A key goal of Alex Sink during her nearly four years as Florida’s chief financial officer has been to implement contracting reforms to bring transparency and accountability to the process of bidding state contracts.


Medicaid ‘reform’ gets caution flag

Federal health officials said last week they won’t simply extend former Gov. Jeb Bush’s Medicaid “reform” pilot program, as Florida requested. They’re going to require some changes.


Jackson Health System struggles to balance its budget

Myriad challenges face the financially beleaguered Jackson Health System, whose governing board will vote on a plan to balance its budget

As Jackson’s governing board prepares to vote Monday on a proposed budget for 2011, its two money-losing nursing homes stand as a symbol for the challenges the system faces as it attempts to cut losses.


THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA:  House Panel Looks At Possible Oil Spill Liability Issues

Criminal and civil penalties that may arise out of the BP Gulf of Mexico oil spill will be the topic for the House oil spill Workgroup 6 conference call on Monday.


Promised special session in September looking unlikely

Top Republican leaders back in July promised they would hold a special session to deal with the economic impacts from the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.


Florida Department of Transportation sets meetings on high speed rail

The Florida Department of Transportation through its Florida Rail Enterprise announced it will hold a series of public information meetings on the Tampa-Orlando high speed rail project Aug. 31-Sept. 2


Marleine Bastien, congressional candidate, robbed at gunpoint

Campaigning Democrat robbed outside North Miami church

One of nine Democrats running to replace U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek in Congress was robbed at gunpoint while waiting to go into a Miami-Dade church on Saturday, police said.


Mortgage defaults among Florida’s high-value loans highest in U.S.

Five years ago, Florida’s real estate market was a rollicking beachfront casino where you couldn’t make a bad bet.


Crist expected to get Florida Public Service Commission nominees this week

Gov. Charlie Crist is expected this week to receive a slate of seven finalists to replace two incumbent utility regulators spurned by a nominating panel.


New Florida database offers businesses’ complaint histories

Consumers can now search online for complaints about businesses filed with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.


Records:  Former Miccosukee leader took hundreds of thousands in cash advances

IRS says Billy Cypress owes almost $2.8 million in taxes and penalties

During two weeks in Las Vegas, Miccosukee Chairman Billy Cypress drew $226,600 in cash advances from his tribe-issued credit card.


Cash for clunker AC systems details announced

Qualified Florida homeowners can get $1,500 rebate on new units

State officials, announcing long-awaited details of its latest “cash for clunker” program Friday, said Floridians could snare a $1,500 flat fee rebate for replacing their central air conditioning systems with more energy efficient units starting this month.


What we will learn from Tuesday’s Florida primaries

Primary elections are sometimes more than simply fights to advance to the next stage of the campaign for office; they can also be learning experiences about the politics of the moment.


Judge:   Meggs not ‘vindictive’ in Sansom case

State attorney apologizes for releasing grand jury testimony

State Attorney Willie Meggs swayed grand jurors with sarcasm and disbelief, then tried to prejudice potential trial jurors against ex-House Speaker Ray Sansom, a former circuit judge said Friday.


Ethics complaint filed against state Senate candidate Jim Norman

A Valrico attorney said Friday he filed a complaint with the Florida Division on Ethics against state Senate candidate Jim Norman.


Column:  Florida bank failures rising, but cost to FDIC is lower

More Florida banks are going under this year, but the cost to resolve those failures is easing.


Alfred Gross to Leave Virginia Bureau of Insurance

Alfred Gross plans to retire from his post as Virginia insurance commissioner Dec. 31.


Louisiana Citizens ‘depopulation’ growing

Private insurers take more policies

Private insurance companies have taken more than 43,000 policies out of the pool that has been insured by the state-run Louisiana Citizens Property Insurance Corp., and officials are hoping that at least another 5,000 to 15,000, can be removed by the end of this year.


Texas to require insurers to justify ‘unreasonable’ premium rate rises

The Texas Department of Insurance is about to change its longtime policy of allowing uncontested insurance rate increases of up to 50 percent without interference, officials said.


New law lets Missouri take earlier action with struggling insurers

A new law will give the Missouri Department of Insurance more flexibility and oversight with struggling carriers.


Catastrophe Bonds Rise for Sixth Week on Forecast

Catastrophe bonds, used by investors to bet against natural disasters, rose for six straight weeks as the forecast for an “extremely active” U.S. hurricane season was scaled back.


Producer, Carrier Groups Unite For New York Surplus Lines Hearing

A public hearing by the New York Department of Insurance on whether to add coverages to the state’s excess and surplus lines “export” list was deemed successful by an agent trade association.


Montana Workers’ Comp Overhaul Gets Green Light

A proposed workers’ compensation overhaul hammered out by business and labor is going to Montana’s full Legislature, despite stiff opposition from the equally powerful trial lawyers and doctors groups.


Agents Ready Clients For National Flood Insurance Program Lapse; Insurers Reconsider Write Your Own Program

Facing another looming flood program expiration deadline on Sept. 30, agents are expressing frustration at Congress and are advising clients to pay renewals for flood policies in advance of the deadline in case there is another lapse.


Sacramento-area cities debate value of crash fees

Bad drivers with Sacramento County and city addresses might want to skirt the city of Roseville.


Materials tested for building hurricane-proof safe rooms

An air-powered cannon sent timbers barreling through wooden walls at the Civil Defense’s test facility in Diamond Head Crater yesterday as engineers began research on next-generation building materials to protect Hawaii’s houses from hurricanes.


Uganda:  Insurers Losing Billions to Foreign Reinsurance

The absence of an indigenous reinsurance firm is costing the insurance sector billions of shillings due to the fact that the service is sought from foreign firms, an insurance official said last week.


Hurricane Katrina:  5 Years Later

How State Farm fought through the second storm

It’s been five years since Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast, killing 1,800 people and causing $41.1 billion in insured damage — a single-loss record for the insurance industry.


Insurance Policies Do Not Serve Consumers’ Needs, Advocate Says at NAIC Summer Meeting

Insurance policies lack the standardization consumers, producers and regulators expect for homeowners and other liability coverages and only true transparency will solve this dilemma for buyers, a consumer advocate said.




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