Capitol to Courthouse Headliners: Monday, Feb. 11

Feb 11, 2008


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Sink, Rubio forge insurance alliance

When Republicans and Democrats approved a plan last year to dramatically expand Florida’s hurricane catastrophe fund, increasing taxpayers’ exposure to risk in the process, the idea was that the compromise was worth it.

Florida Legislature may act to cut state’s insurance risk

For Florida homeowners expecting deep-reaching insurance relief, the last year of political bickering between state policy makers and insurance companies has been more sizzle than substance.

Florida lawmakers rethinking backup insurance coverage

Lawmakers, worried about the cost of a monster storm, are rethinking backup coverage.

One year after passing radical property insurance changes to lower homeowners’ premiums, legislators are increasingly worried the overhaul could cost the state — and homeowners — billions of dollars if a major hurricane hits.

Homeowner’s insurance changes proposed

Premiums continue to rise despite last year’s reforms

Florida has gambled long enough and needs to reel in risky insurance reforms that threaten homeowners with billions in extra charges, a top aide to Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink warned lawmakers Friday.

OPINION: Some answers for Florida homeowners

The Florida Senate committee hearings on property insurance may have uncovered more questions than answers last week.

EDITORIAL: Keep the grill fired up for insurance companies

Two days of hearings last week by the Florida Senate Select Committee on Property Insurance showed the need for more hearings.

Promised $240 tax cut likely to be eclipsed on many Florida homeowners’ bills

Steve Bissinger of Orlando says he’ll break even. Experts think some will see their bills rise — despite a pledged $240 cut.

When homeowners get their property-tax bills in the fall, they may wonder what happened to the $240 cut politicians promised them for approving a tax amendment in January.

City officials rethink budgets after Amendment 1 passes

While some cities throughout Volusia and Flagler counties are gearing up for major reductions in next year’s budget after Amendment 1 was passed, others have yet to review the effect or think there won’t be any at all.

California’s path after tax cuts shows Florida counties a way

Staying ahead of shrinking revenues requires ‘really creative thinking,’ Golden State lawmakers say

As city and county officials in Florida wring their hands over predicted revenue shortfalls from Amendment 1, their counterparts in California can say: Been there, done that.

State gaming on a roll

It’s shaping up as a breakout year for Florida’s growing gambling business.

U.S. Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite: I know Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens, but let’s debate tax reform

Of course I know Puerto Ricans are American citizens.

Martinez Stashing Cash For 2010 Bid

Sen. Mel Martinez has surpassed $3 million raised for his campaign war chest since taking office, well ahead of the pace of most other U.S. senators whose current terms also expire in 2010, new campaign finance reports show.

Ros-Lehtinen latest to face a challenger

Annette Taddeo, a Colombia-born business executive, told The Miami Herald Saturday she will challenge Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen for her seat in the U.S. Congress.

Nergard plans to join already crowded field for Harrell’s seat

A former state legislator soon could add his name to an already crowded Republican field bidding to succeed state Rep. Gayle Harrell.

Republicans face an ‘epidemic’ of U.S. House dropouts

In the last week of January, five members of Congress joined the hottest demographic group on Capitol Hill: Republicans who are heading for the exits.

Logjam delays resolution of complains again South Florida contractors

In the two years since the intense hurricane seasons of 2004-2005, consumer complaints against state-licensed contractors have risen dramatically along with the state’s backlog of unresolved cases, Florida records show.

EDITORIAL: Sharp growing pains

The Florida Legislature’s 2008 session has yet to begin, but a familiar story line on growth and development already is playing out.

Physical therapy industry in flux

At least 10 outpatient physical therapy clinics across Southwest Florida have closed since midsummer as a trio of trends has sapped the businesses’ income.

Legislators push harsher penalties

Hoping to take some of the profit out of indoor marijuana farming, a House committee last week approved a Lee County legislator’s plan to toughen prison penalties for operators of “grow houses.”

Clash over teaching evolution hits Orlando

State education officials have hearings before voting on science standards.

Evolution has been a cornerstone of biology for more than 100 years, but don’t try to tell that to many of the thousands of people who posted comments on Florida’s Department of Education Web site.

FPL to anchor $2B gas pipeline expansion

Florida Power & Light contracted for half the capacity of a $2 billion expansion of a natural-gas pipeline to the state, enabling the project to proceed.

Tornado Claims Pour In

While insurers indicated that it is too early to estimate losses resulting from the recent tornado activity in five southern states, State Farm reported that it has already received claims from around 2,500 policyholders in Tennessee and Kentucky.

Insurer sues Miss. Coast School District in Wind Versus Water Case

An insurance company is suing the Bay St. Louis-Waveland, Miss., School District over wind versus water damage related to Hurricane Katrina.

Judge Ends Hood State Farm Probe

A federal judge in Mississippi has ruled that Attorney General Jim Hood cannot investigate State Farm’s handling of hurricane claims after agreeing last year to drop his probe of the insurer.


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