Capitol to Courthouse Headliners: Monday, Jan. 7

Jan 7, 2008

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Rubio, Rivera stump for Huckabee in N.H.

Mike Huckabee’s staunchest Florida supporters believe his Iowa surprise was enough to catapult him to victory in Florida’s Jan. 29 contest — so much so that they spent a chilly Sunday hitting the pavement for the Baptist minister who has upended the Republican race for the presidency.


Legislative session to be budget leery

Facing the biggest budget shortfall in decades, money matters will dominate debate as state lawmakers return for the 2008 legislative session with up to $2 billion less to spend than what they had planned.


Insurance shifts confuse

If you think the property insurance crisis has quieted down, meet David Kirby, 54, a third-generation Floridian who owns a modest, 40-year-old home in the Disston section of St. Petersburg.


Letter to the Editor:  Florida should allow exemptions to PIP requirements for those who have other coverage

How can our legislators be so unthinking? As of Jan.1, personal injury protection, or PIP, became mandatory on all automobile policies. There is no exemption for those who may have other medical insurance.


Florida is losing some of its luster

The word has gotten out about Florida. It is not the paradise that many people once thought it was. According to recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau, Florida’s population grew only 1.1 percent in 2007 — compared to 1.8 percent in 2006 — the slowest pace in 10 years.


Crist wisely ignores the extremists

Our sensible ‘live and let live’ Republican governor has done it again, governing from the middle rather than allowing himself to be dragged into the ideological extremes of his party.


King must focus on big trees to win seat

Some unsolicited advice for Jim King: The next time you want to discredit U.S. Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite, don’t let the trees block your view of the forest.


Rev. Al Sharpton visits Orlando, urges crowd to vote

He reminds Central Floridians of the Rev. Martin Luther King’s sacrifice and legacy.

The gymnasium doors fling open and the Rev. Al Sharpton walks in to a rock-star-like reception.


Court orders insurers to pay

Two Lee County builders and their companies have won a case – nearly 10 years in the making – that could mean insurance companies in Florida will have to pay for hundreds of millions of dollars in claims.


In government, numbers can tell whatever story you want

When legislators start tossing around a lot of numbers to make or dispute some point, Sen. Steve Geller will sometimes mention a rule of economics that he calls ‘the Lake Woebegon principle.’


Orlando HR firm scoops up Nelco

Ginny Dorris, one of the pioneers of Bradenton’s professional employer organization industry, has sold Nelco, her 24-year-old human resources outsourcing company.


St. Pete Times:  10 people to watch in 2008

They include a Hall of Fame former Buccaneer, a thirty-something financial playmaker and a septuagenarian attorney. Some are well-known politicians and entrepreneurs; others behind-the-scenes players.


Coalition seeks to fix storm-damaged homes in western Palm Beach County

A little more than two years after Hurricane Wilma, Mary Kinsler’s roof was still leaking. The pots and pans she placed all over her mobile home weren’t much help.


Katrina victims swamp corps with trillions in claims

Tens of thousands of people whose property was destroyed when Hurricane Katrina overwhelmed New Orleans’ protective levees have filed claims demanding the government pay astronomical sums that would be enough money to make multimillionaires of everyone in Louisiana.


Florida doctors want to charge more for copies of medical records

Doctors seek a hefty increase for making copies of medical data. The state will decide. Florida doctors are asking the state to sharply hike the amount they can charge patients for copies of their medical records, a request that has brought protests from consumer advocates and malpractice lawyers.


Editorial:  It’s time that Florida mandated insurance coverage for autism treatments

ISSUE: Effort is on to require insurance companies to cover autism treatments.

Even with medical advances, autism is so relatively new as a diagnosed disease that frighteningly little is known about it, particularly why it develops and how it can be prevented or cured.


Guy Carpenter:  2008 Outlook

David Spiller runs through the hard versus soft pricing debate’s 2007 and 2008 incarnation.

Every year, our industry asks the same question: will the new year bring a softer market? Well, 2007 is no different. Even with the same reference points, different conclusions are drawn. Some feel that rates will steady, while others see a continued downturn.


Briefing Finds Sustained Softening, with Global Property Rates Down 9 Percent
And Expected to Decrease through 2008; Insured Catastrophe Losses Remain Low

Guy Carpenter & Company, LLC, the leading global risk and reinsurance specialist, on January 2, 2008 announced the publication of Near Misses, Plentiful Reminders: Global Reinsurance Review January 2008, a briefing on the major trends driving pricing and market conditions across the global reinsurance industry into 2008 and beyond.


Bogus reform: With homeowner insurance premiums rivaling property tax bills in Texas, officials must get tough on profiteering companies

In response to pleas by consumers to reduce Texas homeowner insurance costs that lead the nation, state lawmakers passed reform legislation in 2003. Unfortunately, the so-called reform has primarily benefited insurance companies rather than their customers.


With Dodd Out, Insurers Seek New Standard Bearer

Insurers will be hunting for a new candidate to support now that Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., who had big money backing from the insurance community, has dropped his pursuit of the Democratic presidential nomination, an industry representative said.


Flood Zone Change in D.C. Could Be Costly

New flood zone maps proposed by the could result in mandatory flood insurance and stricter building codes for a huge swath of downtown Washington, according to a presentation at a planning board meeting last week.


Hedge Fund Lobby Courts Baker: Capital Markets Expert Mulls Offer

Rep. Richard H. Baker (R-La.), a longtime legislative expert on the regulation of capital markets, is in serious talks to become president of the main lobby for hedge funds, the Managed Funds Association.


CSX Railroad Charged with 199 Safety Violations in 23 States

CSX Transportation has paid nearly $350,000 for federal rail safety violations uncovered during a 23-state inspection last year, according to the Federal Railroad Administration.