Capitol to Courthouse Headliners: Monday, February 15

Feb 15, 2010



Note: Until the March 2, 2010 Florida legislative bill filing deadline, Capitol to Courthouse Headliners will provide a listing of insurance-related bills filed each day.  This listing will be located at the end of the news headlines.


To view a complete story, click on a headline below:


Florida’s public insurance adjusters: An alternative to helping policyholders win claims

Public adjusters draw regulatory scrutiny and some blame for Florida’s property insurance woes

Many homeowners don’t fully understand their property insurance policies and are at a disadvantage when negotiating with insurers about repairs needed after a fire, theft, hurricane or other disaster.


Brevard’s beaches get sandy  makeover

An Illinois dredging company began to deliver the first new sand over the weekend
in a $12.4 million project to widen Indialantic and  Melbourne Beach.


Letter: Insurance rate increase out of line

The other day, I received a renewal declaration policy from my homeowners insurance company. Well, the premiums have gone up.


Fraud helps drive auto insurance hike requests in Florida

A spike in fraudulent auto insurance claims last year added to rising costs for insurance companies in Florida, forcing auto insurers to file average statewide rate increases of between 9 percent and 16 percent. 


Red-light cameras likely in Sanford

City commissioners gave their initial approval to install red-light cameras this week, though details such as the location of cameras, the amount of fines and the start of enforcement have not yet been worked out.


Former Cigna worker gets Florida State House District 58 Endorsement

Early voting begins Monday in the special election for state House District 58, which will fill the seat Michael Scionti gave up when President Obama appointed him to be a deputy assistant secretary at the Pentagon last year.


Polk County Insurance Agent Arrested for Theft

A Davenport insurance agent was arrested Thursday after authorities discovered he had stolen insurance payments, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office said


Collier commissioners want to change volunteer policy after lawsuit

A nonprofit organization that provides medical care to the indigent will receive some legal support from Collier County government but commissioners are calling for a change in the county’s employee volunteer policy.


Florida’s legislative proposals for medical care

A look at what’s on the table for state health care reform.

Don’t expect any sweeping, Congress-style health-care overhauls when the Florida Legislature convenes next month.


Florida businesses seek relief from economic storm

With the 2010 session of the state Legislature two weeks away, business groups are rallying support for unemployment compensation tax relief, property insurance deregulation and a package aimed at creating jobs.


Florida judge: Homeowners must fight for rights

A federal judge has issued a warning to Florida’s homeowners in foreclosure: You’d better fight if you want your rights.


Boating industry sees deluge of foreclosures

At the end of a long, low-slung dock stretching out into the bay sits a yacht that would make many boat enthusiasts drool.


A new look at foreclosures and mediation

Circuit courts are eager to set up a mediation process to comply with a judicial order.

The Florida Supreme Court and Florida’s banking industry agree there’s a logjam of foreclosure cases clogging the state’s circuit courts, but they disagree on what to do about it.


Florida takes its time spending federal stimulus money

By Dec. 31, Florida had used 15 percent of cash – creating or saving a mere 34,966 jobs

A year ago this week, President Obama signed into law the controversial $787 billion stimulus plan intended to pour billions of dollars into all 50 states and create millions of jobs.


Florida has slashed funding to help people buy, repair homes

Ruth Duvall moved to South Florida from Bogota, Colombia, nearly three decades ago in search of the American Dream. In October, it arrived.


Blog:  Democrats’ fundraiser got help paying $200k fine

Jeff Ryan, a top fundraiser for the Florida Democratic Party, used donations funneled through a political organization run by a Tallahassee attorney to pay off a $209,000 state elections fine.


In Florida’s diverse 2nd district, money becomes an issue

Boyd campaign says fundraising totals point to defeat; not needed, opponent Lawson camp contends

When it comes to Panhandle politics – in both physical stature and clout – Al Lawson looms large.


Special U.S. House election in Florida’s 19th District proves costly to taxpayers

Palm Beach County turnout low; Broward abysmal

Former U.S. Rep. Robert Wexler left office in January, but taxpayers are still racking up bills because of his decision to resign with a year left in his term.


Florida lawmakers: Elections won’t distract from duties

Lawmakers say campaigning won’t affect the way they do their jobs.

At a meeting with reporters ahead of this year’s legislative session, House Speaker Larry Cretul noted that he might be different than many other members of the Legislature in what he was running for.


Column:  Florida’s political scandals ignite new look at fundraising

The Florida Legislature is girding for another round of election reforms to kick off the mud from the latest round of political scandals. House and Senate leaders are pushing an elections bill this year to resurrect what are known as “leadership funds” – political committees unconstrained by the statutory $500 limit on campaign contributions that thus can enable legislative leaders to collect huge checks from donors.


Oil drilling legislation not likely this year, Florida lawmakers say

Area legislators expressed doubts Friday that the Florida Legislature will pass any offshore oil drilling-related bills in 2010 due to concerns about impacts on military missions, the region’s tourism industry and the environment.


Crist, others support inmate rehab programs in tight budget

Gov. Charlie Crist, once known for his support of prison chain gangs, is embracing an inmate rehabilitation effort often seen as “soft on crime.”


Florida class-size limits may get 2nd legislative look

Proposal would relax rules voters approved in 2002

Theresa Hobbs’ daughter will start kindergarten in August, just in time for voter-approved limits on class sizes to take full effect.


Column:  Closing child-care center devastating for Florida state employees

State employees are understandably reluctant to talk on the record about any developments in their offices, especially when the news is bad.


Floridians pay for vacant state jobs

Florida’s state government workforce now includes about 5,500 positions that have been vacant for at least a month – jobs that Floridians pay to keep open even as legislators hit them with billions in fee and tax increases.


Feds see rise in suspected Ponzi cases in Florida

Central Florida pair victimized thousands around the world, federal officials say

Hundreds of gold bars. Luxury cars. And cold, hard cash.


Editorial: Intimidation

Florida Public Counsel J.R. Kelly was instrumental in staving off two of the biggest electric rate hikes in state history. So his reward? The legislative committee that oversees Kelly’s office, which represents Florida consumers in rate proceedings before the Public Service Commission, is threatening to take his job away from him.


New rules could limit the hunt of sunken treasure off Florida’s coast

For years, sunken treasure off Florida’s coast has been a relative free-for-all for anyone with the time and ability to find it.


Florida unveils ‘hot’ new tourism campaign

State officials have launched a new tourism campaign just in time to market to northerners freezing from record snowfall.


Court rules for insurer in construction defect case

Only a named insured, not an additional insured, can satisfy a general liability policy’s self-insured retention to trigger coverage, a California appellate court has ruled in a construction defect case.


Battle lines are drawn over lucrative traffic fines

A Los Angeles councilman and a California state senator clash over which entity should issue red-light and other citations and keep the money.

In an emerging high-stakes battle fueled by government budget woes, a Long Beach lawmaker is attempting to stop cities from launching what she calls a “raid” on state coffers by collecting and keeping traffic fines.


Bursting Pipes Lead to a Legal Battle

State and local governments across the country may have to replace their water systems because of defective pipes, according to a whistle-blower lawsuit unsealed this week.


Individual insurance rates soar in 4 states

Consumers in at least four states who buy their own health insurance are getting hit with premium increases of 15 percent or more – and people in other states could see the same thing.


2010 Florida insurance-related bills filed on Monday, February 15:


No insurance-related bills have been filed today.


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