Capitol to Courthouse Headliners: Monday, March 30

Mar 30, 2009

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State Farm gets backing from legislators

Shot down in its bid to raise insurance rates earlier this year, State Farm Insurance Co. announced in January it was pulling out of the state.


Editorial: Ban the ‘crash tax’ throughout Florida

As a general rule, we think state lawmakers should stay out of the everyday affairs of local government. Local decisions are best left to officials closest to the situation.


Blog: Sunrise car wreck victim meets obstacle: Florida Legislature

A potentially precedent-setting $31 million claims bill for a Broward County teen catastrophically injured in a car wreck with a sheriffs deputy is in deep trouble after a House committee slapped the bill down this afternoon.


State on hook for train accidents?

Seven years ago, a speeding northbound Amtrak passenger train derailed in Putnam County, killing four people and injuring more than 140 of the nearly 500 riders on board.


Florida hurricane catastrophe fund under scrutiny

Rating agencies are watching how Florida insurers set up reinsurance plans for the 2009 hurricane season.

The two rating agencies that track Florida-based insurers are closely monitoring the state’s hurricane catastrophe fund over the next few weeks.


Downsized? Have $100,000? Allstate wants to talk

Allstate Insurance is using the economic downturn as part of its growth strategy. The company wants to open 100 new agencies in Florida by the end of 2009,


Shutter Manufacturer:  Don’t reverse state’s insurance law

The Legislature has put into effect a law requiring that homeowners who are insured by Citizens Insurance Corp. live within the wind-borne debris zone, and that homes with an insured value of $750,000 or more have window and door opening protection, per the Florida Building Code, in order to retain coverage with Citizens.

Homeowners premium going up? Help us investigate

The annual renewal of homeowner policies are under way and the Daily News is gathering information about rates and if they are on the increase.


You’ve heard of tornado chasers? He chases fires

Charles Sisco, 56, of Palm City was more than an interested spectator at the dangerous brush fire in north Stuart on Wednesday.


Ample evidence Florida’s feeling effects of climate change

Maybe the fish are on to something. Don Hammond, who catches, tags and releases dolphin-fish (also known as mahi-mahi), says those Florida natives are being hooked in some unusual places.


Insurers shun those taking certain meds

How health insurers secretly blacklist those with certain ailments.

Trying to buy health insurance on your own and have gallstones? You’ll automatically be denied.


Florida, Louisiana Senators Seek Interim Ban on Chinese Drywall

Two U.S. Senators have filed a bill seeking a temporary ban on certain Chinese-made drywall, the latest effort to address problems with Chinese-made drywall believed to be emitting unpleasant, sulfurous odors and causing unusual air-conditioner problems in homes from Florida to Louisiana.


Gov. Crist visits Cover Florida health insurance provider in South Florida

Governor Charlie Crist today visited Medica Health Plans Medical Center in Hialeah to discuss the benefits of Cover Florida Health Care coverage for Floridians without health insurance.


Trial scheduled for Florida man in Katrina levee project bribery case

A trial is scheduled to start Monday for a former Army Corps of Engineers consultant and a subcontractor charged with conspiring to bribe another consultant for confidential information about a Hurricane Katrina levee project.


Wasserman Schultz visits Pines hospital to push breast cancer testing

Breast cancer survivor U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Weston, said at a press conference this morning that she is requesting $1 million in federal money to help Memorial Health Care fight breast cancer.

Mud flying fast and furious in Tallahassee

Despite the historic pall of fiscal gloom hanging over lawmakers, there appears to be no shortage of political-fueled mudslinging in Tallahassee.


Florida Legislature questions Gov. Charlie Crist’s hands-off approach

Gov. Charlie Crist’s policy of disengagement is testing the limits of lawmakers’ patience and raising questions about his leadership.


GOP leaders balk at censuring Crist as critic questions his party loyalty

Republican leaders are frowning at a Boynton Beach activist’s effort to get the Palm Beach County GOP to censure Gov. Charlie Crist for embracing President Obama’s stimulus plan and showing insufficient partisan zeal in campaigns and appointments.


Florida CFO Alex Sink raising public profile

While meeting recently with Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink in the basement of the state Capitol, a woman from the town of Edgewater complained about insurance companies leaving Florida.

Legislature looks at bottled water for possible new tax

Also in the loop is ending a sales tax exemption

Bottled water has become a target of some lawmakers and Gov. Charlie Crist as the state looks to plug a $6.5 billion budget hole.


State Sen. Mike Haridopolos calls for congressional term limits

State Sen. Mike Haridopolos, R-Indialantic, wants the federal government to impose term limits for U.S. senators and representatives.


Elder Law: Warnings issued about various scams in Florida

Scammers pose as attorneys

This month the Florida Bar issued two warnings to attorneys of potential scams to avoid.


Mel Martinez criticizes President Obama’s greenhouse gas and health care plans

As Congress prepares to debate President Barack Obama’s budget this week, Republican Sen. Mel Martinez said the proposal creates an unacceptable deficit for the country and needs to be trimmed.


West Florida furloughs may clog courts

The criminal court system in Manatee and Sarasota counties could come to a virtual standstill on certain days during the next three months as budget shortfalls force furloughs for the employees who keep it running.


AIG may signal wider troubles in insurance

When insurance giant American International Group Inc. imploded last fall, the firm’s problems were quickly blamed not on its core insurance business, but on an obscure operation that traded exotic mortgage securities.


Source: New curbs on private Medicare plans

The Obama administration is putting new curbs on private insurance plans that are popular with seniors in Medicare, but have been criticized for marketing abuses and high costs to the government.


Insurers’ out-of-network practices coming under scrutiny from top Democratic senator

Ever wonder how that bill was calculated if you had to pay to see a doctor outside your insurance network? Might be a scam, says a senator investigating the issue.


U.S. healthcare reform czar has insider’s view of the industry

After years as a top state and federal healthcare official, Nancy-Ann DeParle turned her attention to the business of medicine, serving as a board member for more than a dozen companies and managing a private equity portfolio over the last eight years.


Many near swollen Red River have no flood insurance

As the Red River crept within view of their backyard this past week, Denette and Billy Narum had an extra incentive to pray their sandbags held. Like most people in the path of potential floods, they have no flood insurance.


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