Capitol to Courthouse Headliners: Monday, March 2

Mar 2, 2009


House photo by Mark Foley

Above:  Rep. Dean Cannon, R-Winter Park, center, addresses Republican colleagues and Gov. Charlie Crist, right, on the House floor March 2, 2009. Cannon was formally selected by his Republican colleagues as the Florida House Speaker-designate for Nov. 2010.



Click on a headline to view a complete story:


Guy Carpenter expanding into Florida property with Collins acquisition

Guy Carpenter & Co. LLC is buying Bloomington-based John B. Collins Associates Inc. in a move meant to expand its position in the North American reinsurance marketplace. 


Gradual rate hikes sought amid concerns for Citizens

The solvency of the state’s storm damage insurance fund is a key issue for lawmakers. With rates likely to rise, the question has become by how much.


Businesses want to re-establish limits on attorney fees

A debate over workers’ compensation insurance will pit attorneys and workers’ rights advocates against business and insurers.


Ban urged on insurers’ use of credit scores

Credit scores and credit reports should not be used to set car and home insurance rates, some Florida lawmakers say.


Bill seeks gender equity in insurance premiums

A state consumer advocate contemplates legislation to ban health insurers from charging women more than men for their coverage. 


State aims to reign in vendors of annuities and life insurance

To protect the state’s senior citizens, lawmakers hope to better police sellers of annuities and life insurance.

Some Florida lawmakers and Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink want more protection than they secured a year ago for seniors to protect the elderly from predatory life insurance and annuities peddlers.


Florida, We’ve Still Got A Problem

It’s a toss-up as to which is the bigger monster threatening Florida’s property insurance market: the state’s troubled catastrophe fund or State Farm Florida’s complete withdrawal from the homeowners market. The Legislature will consider tackling both issues. 


A tough task: Legislators seek to fix Florida’s property insurance problems during session

Legislators seek solutions for property owners

A group of leading state legislators is considering a dramatic way to try to fix Florida’s property insurance market: have the state cover the hurricane portion of virtually all homeowner policies statewide.


State Farm’s exit has lawmakers antsy

Many in the House want to keep insurance giant State Farm in Florida, but just how to do that has lawmakers at odds.

It’s a tossup as to which is the bigger monster threatening Florida’s property-insurance market. 


A Primer On Florida Property insurance

Here we are 17 years after Hurricane Andrew and still working on a “fix” for Florida’s beleaguered property insurance market. For newbies to the scene and old hands at racing to put up plywood, here’s a state-of-the-market primer.


Brown & Brown, Inc. Announces the Asset Acquisition of One Source Insurance, Inc.

J. Scott Penny, Regional Executive Vice President of Brown & Brown, Inc., and R. John Elmer, President of One Source Insurance, Inc., of Noblesville, Indiana, today announced the asset acquisition of One Source Insurance, Inc. by Brown & Brown of Indiana, Inc., a subsidiary of Brown & Brown, Inc. 


Hospitals present their prescription to Legislature

As the recession goes on, Florida’s healthcare industry’s primary focus for the upcoming legislative session is to block cuts to Medicaid funding while proposing some tax increases to make up for the growing number of uninsured patients.


Trial lawyers ready for session

Attorney Tom Edwards is in Tallahassee today for a mediation. It shouldn’t take long and any other day he’d turn around and drive 160 miles home.


Florida Doctors want new rules for insurers to play by

In an almost annual battle that once again is likely to be heated and protracted, the state’s doctors seek faster, more consistent pay from health insurers — and the insurers say the proposals are absurd, will hurt patients, or both.


Bill would limit funding for Fla’s Medicaid pilot

A lawmaker has filed a bill seeking to limit the state’s authority to operate a Medicaid privatization experiment even as state officials have begun to take a stand against the troubled pilot program.


OP-ED:  Aubuchon playing it straight on bill to resolve drywall disputes

Defective Chinese drywall … Sounds like a Monty Python skit.

It’s not. With toxic emissions, screwed-up air conditioners from those emissions and foul odors, the building material is causing problems for Florida homeowners. 


EDITORIAL: Rolling the dice is no insurance plan

Warren Buffett won’t touch Florida, even for another $224 million. State Farm is leaving, and there is no guarantee Washington D.C. will come to the rescue. That leaves Gov. Charlie Crist and the Florida Legislature in a familiar predicament. 


Letter to the Editor:  Check insurance company solvency 

The headline for the letter of the week on Feb. 9 read “State Farm is not best deal.”  Bill Middlebrooks is correct if price is the only criteria.  


House Republican Conference Chooses Cannon As Speaker-Designate For 2010-2012

The House Republican Conference on Monday unanimously chose Representative Dean Cannon (R-Winter Park) as Speaker-designate for the current legislative term.


Lawmakers see Cretul as unique leader of House

Getting elected to the Legislature can be difficult. But to become the leader of the House or Senate requires a brutal devotion fueled by bold ambition and political cunning. At least it used to.


Monday is a key fundraising day inTallahassee

Beginning in 1994, Florida lawmakers sought to tamp down the influence of money on policy debates during the annual legislative session. They adopted rules that ban fundraising during the 60-day session.  


Florida Legislature set for clash on economic stimulus

When lawmakers return to Tallahassee on Tuesday, they’ll face a divisive session with federal stimulus money at center stage.

With taxes or fees likely to rise and some state services facing the ax, this is a year lawmakers will have little to brag about. 


Push is on to halt gerrymandering

State Sen. Dave Aronberg’s District 27 stretches coast to coast from West Palm Beach to Fort Myers. 


House Majority Leader Touts Anti-Union Secret Ballots

In case closing a $5 billion budget gap isn’t a big enough task for the upcoming Florida legislative session, House Majority Leader Adam Hasner, R-Boca Raton, has joined a national effort to combat Big Labor’s top initiative for 2009. 


Florida considers charging bottlers for state’s water

In a rural North Florida town where the water tower bears the motto ”Tiny but Proud,” residents have a big secret: They give the cold, clear spring water that bubbles up from the aquifer below their soil to the nation’s largest bottled water company — for free. 


McCollum Meeing With Federal Officials To Discuss State‐Federal Cooperation

Forty‐three Attorneys General , including Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum, are in Washington, D.C. for the next three days to meet with U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair, U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., and others to discuss pressing state‐federal legal issues. 


News Service of Florida:  Sugar Deal Opponents Say Voters Know Little About Plan

Opponents of a deal between U.S. Sugar and the South Florida Water Management District say Floridians know little of a state-proposed $1.34 billion purchase of 180,000 acres from U.S. Sugar.


Limits bill may speed growth

The basic goals of a growth management bill sailing through committee hearings in the Florida Senate sound good to many. Its sponsor aims for it to kick-start the state’s sluggish economy. Senator Mike Bennett, R-Bradenton, expects the bill to be approved during the second week of the session. 


Lawmakers look for ways to aid condo associations

Harvey Berman, president of Royal Oaks condominium in the California Club area of Miami-Dade County, takes a lot of flack from dues-paying residents in his building who are peeved about other owners in foreclosure and behind on their association fees.


Legislators outline issues

Here’s what the lawmakers who represent Palm Beach, Martin and St. Lucie counties want to accomplish in the session that begins Tuesday.


New RNC chair says GOP middle ground fine for Fla.

Florida’s Republican Party may have steered toward the political middle, and Gov. Charlie Crist may have caused some discomfort when he sided with Democratic President Barack Obama’s stimulus plan, but that’s OK with new Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele.


High-stakes gambling battle: tribe vs. parimutuels

Nearly two dozen parimutuel operators around the state want a piece of the contentious gambling pie dominated the Seminole Tribe.

The blackjack and baccarat tables at the Seminole Tribe’s Hard Rock casinos could be shut down if the Florida House of Representatives has its way in the 2009 legislative session.


Florida’s Workforce A Budget Concern

With nearly 175,000 people on the job, state government is Florida’s largest employer. But in terms of per-capita size and cost, the state work force is both smallest and cheapest in the nation. 


Rating Agencies Give AIG Mixed Reviews

Despite reporting a $60 billion-plus loss for the fourth quarter, American International Group got generally mixed reviews from rating agencies, most supporting the company’s insurance financial strength rating based on government support for the carrier. 


CFTC Charges Idaho Resident Daren L. Palmer with Operating $40 Million Ponzi Scheme

Idaho District Court Issues Restraining Order Freezing Assets and Preserving Records

The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced on February 27, 2009 that it charged Daren L. Palmer of Idaho Falls, Idaho, with operating a Ponzi scheme involving approximately $40 million in connection with the unregistered Trigon Group, Inc. commodity futures pool.


StoneRiver Announces New Corporate Name

StoneRiver announces that the company’s formal transition from Fiserv Insurance Solutions is effective today. StoneRiver is a new brand name for this firmly established provider of leading and reliable technology solutions and services. StoneRiver encompasses the products and services previously marketed as Fiserv Insurance Solutions, Emerald Publications, RegEd, FSC, National Flood Services, Third Party Solutions (TPS), P2P Link and Direct Comp RX.


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