Capitol to Courthouse Headliners: Monday, March 1

Mar 1, 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:


Lawmakers ready to take on Crist via insurance

One of the more interesting dynamics of the 2010 Florida legislative session that starts Tuesday is how defiantly state lawmakers may treat Gov. Charlie Crist’s policy priorities.  


Seeking a glide path for property insurance rates, not a crash

Here’s the state of Florida’s star-crossed property insurance market after several years without any major hurricanes: Three Florida property insurers went insolvent this past year.


Weak insurers put Floridians at risk

Millions of Floridians now bet their homes on property insurers that teeter on the edge of financial failure, a Herald-Tribune investigation has found.


Florida justices get rental car liability case

The state Supreme Court is considering whether a new federal law exempting car and truck rental companies from liability for crashes applies in Florida.


Florida-based Brown & Brown expands in Seattle with DiMartino acquisition

Brown & Brown Inc. acquired the insurance agency and brokerage business-released assets of DiMartino Associates Inc.


Dealing with tainted drywall

Relief for financially strapped condo and homeowners associations and Florida residents living with tainted Chinese drywall is on many people’s wish list for this legislative session.


Parent of State Farm Florida posts $777 million profit for 2009

State Farm, by far the largest property and auto insurer in Florida, posted a $777 million profit in 2009 thanks to improved underwriting results and investment returns.


Changes to Tax Credit Scholarships have bipartisan support

One striking part about the legislative plan this year to strengthen a learning option for Florida’s poorest children is the extent to which it is bringing lawmakers of both parties together.


Amid avalanche of painkiller prescriptions, state moves slowly on monitoring

As law enforcement agencies across the Tampa Bay area crack down on prescription drug abuse, state officials are hammering out the details of a long-delayed prescription drug monitoring program.


Study: Florida deadliest state for walkers, cyclists

Florida is the deadliest state in the U.S. for pedestrians – and bicyclists don’t fare any better.


Lawmakers take texting-while-driving debate to Tallahassee

You won’t catch Rich Glorioso texting behind the wheel while he treks to Tallahassee.


Medicaid complicates Florida budget

Florida program’s rolls increase with job losses, and some federal funding is in doubt

The Florida Legislature faces a health care crisis disguised as budget crisis.


Taking the pulse of health reform in Florida

This is the year of big talk about health care. And potentially bigger profits for HMOs.


2010 legislative session to take on big business issues

Jump-starting the Florida economy and creating new jobs are the two big areas where business owners want action during this year’s legislative session.


Ex-Regulators, Bankers Team Up To Buy Failed Banks – Bloomberg

The fund is focusing on the southeast regional states — such as Florida — that are considered desirable over the long term as Americans retire and move to warmer climates.


Wallace: Florida Senator pushes for longer terms

State Sen. Sen. Mike Bennett likes the idea of term limits but says Florida’s eight-year limits for House and Senate members are too short for the good of the state.


Florida’s offshore drilling panel convenes today

The House panel looking into oil and gas drilling in Florida waters convenes this morning, a day before the start of the legislative session and after the release of an academic report that proponents are already criticizing.


Panel to examine space budget impact on Space Coast

An expert panel will discuss the impact the federal
budget could have on the Space Coast during an
open forum March 9 at Brevard Community College.


Crist, Rubio spar in South Florida over abortion, spending, trust issues

Republicans Charlie Crist and Marco Rubio didn’t mention each other by name Saturday at a Christian Family Coalition forum. But the U.S. Senate rivals were clearly battling.


To his credit, Atwater says his spending an open book

Unlike some other Republican bigs entrusted with state GOP-issued American Express cards, Senate President and chief financial officer candidate Jeff Atwater, R-North Palm Beach, says he never used his card for anything like a $3,600 dinner at The Breakers or a $133.75 barber shop visit.


Florida House candidate Frank’s zoning victory ruffles feathers

House candidate Frank’s zoning win ruffles feathers

State party leaders see Democrat Stacy Frank as one of their best hopes of wresting the District 57 state House seat away from Republicans. Faye Culp is term-limited out of the seat.


Florida Port Authorities to Receive $707,000 from Settlement Regarding Price Fixing of Marine Equipment

Attorney General Bill McCollum today announced that several public port authorities in Florida will receive a total of $707,000 from a settlement with marine product manufacturer Virginia Harbor Services, Inc. and its predecessor Trelleborg Engineered Products, Inc.


An education for the Florida PSC

In the cavernous hearing room where the Public Service Commission regulates the state’s utility companies, the new chairwoman has added a piece of decor: ropes.


Women of Florida GOP could be factor this fall

The 2010 elections are filled with opportunities for conservative gains, if Republican women organize and unify, two veteran GOP leaders said Sunday.


Jobless Florida construction workers wonder what’s next

As a few dozen real estate and title insurance agents mingle around a steakhouse’s bar at a networking mixer, one shares a sardonic joke: Is it OK to pray for a hurricane?


Louisiana Dedicates Nearly $20 Million for Hurricane Protection System

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal said a partnership agreement between the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority and the South Lafourche Levee District will dedicate $19.8 million in state surplus funds to make significant improvements to Lafourche Parish’s hurricane protection system.


Flood Insurance Program Closed; No Policies Until Senate Votes

The Senate last week failed to vote on bills to extend several federal programs including jobless benefits, COBRA subsidies, transportation project funding and flood insurance before these programs expired Feb. 28.



Florida insurance-related bills filed on Monday, March 1, 2010:


SB 2734 Relating to Workers’ Compensation Joint Underwriting Association by State Senator Lee Constantine

Would delete an obsolete transitional requirement for certain policies of the Florida Workers’ Compensation Joint Underwriting Association. Effective Date:  July 1, 2010


SB 2724 Relating to Financial Services by State Senator Dave Aronberg

Would revise the duties of the Florida Division of Consumer Services within the Florida Division of Financial Services relating to the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation.  Would specify that complaints relating to sales and finance must be submitted to the Florida Office of Financial Regulation.  The bill also would require consumer collection agencies to be licensed instead of registered comma as well as authorize the disapproval of the use of certain names for a consumer collection agency.  Would revise provisions relating to consumer complaints about a consumer collection agency.  Effective Date:  October 1, 2010


SB 2712 Relating to Traffic Infraction Detectors or Cameras by State Senator Charlie Dean

Would pre-empt the regulation of the use of such devices to enforce certain traffic laws to the State of Florida.  Effective Date:  July 1, 2010


HB 1521 Relating to Health Care Fraud by State Representative Marcelo Llorente

Would prohibit the Agency for Health Care Administration (“AHCA”) from issuing an initial license to a home health agency for the purpose of opening a new home health agency under certain conditions until a specified date.  Would provide an exception that authorizes AHCA to issue a change-of-ownership license to a home health agency until a specified date.  It would revise the grounds on which AHCA may deny or revoke an application for initial license, change-of-ownership license or licensure renewal for certain health care entities, as well as revise the grounds under which the Department of Health or corresponding board is required to refuse to admit a candidate to examination and refuse to issue or renew a license, certificate or registration of a health care practitioner.  The bill would also clarify the grounds under which disciplinary actions may be taken and revise requirements relating to Medicaid contracts and providers, as well as the retention of Medicaid recipient records.  Effective Date:  July 1, 2010


HB 1501 Relating to Actions Against Public Officers, Employees or Agents by State Representative Seth McKeel

Would authorize counties, municipalities, political subdivisions and agencies of the State of Florida, which have been excluded from participation in the Insurance Risk Management Trust Fund, to require their officers, employees and agents to make payment of certain judgments under certain circumstances.  It would prohibit such counties, municipalities, political subdivisions and agencies from requiring such officers, employees and agents, when held harmless by federal court, to make such payments.  Effective Date:  July 1, 2010


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