Capitol to Courthouse Headliners: Monday, October 19

Oct 19, 2009



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Blog:  Citizens Property Insurance prepares to boost rates

State regulators announced today they will hold a public hearing Tuesday on Citizens Property Insurance’s request to boost rates by up to 10 percent per policy starting in January.


USAA adding 200 jobs in Tampa, bringing local workforce up to nearly 2,000

USAA is adding 200 more jobs to its Tampa operation, the financial services company’s second major expansion here in less than a year.


Florida Blocks Another Home Service Warranty Seller

Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty has ordered Nationwide Home Warranty, which has its home office in New York City, to halt the marketing and selling of home and service warranty products in Florida.


A.M. Best Special Report: Florida Title Insurance Direct Written Premiums Down 48% in 2008

As the real estate market’s freefall slowed, title insurance revenues-dependent on housing demand and price levels-slightly rebounded in the first six months of 2009, compared with the similar period in 2008.


Florida recognizes national school bus safety week

Schools focus on the importance of bus safety during national week-long celebration

Schools throughout Florida began highlighting the importance of school bus safety awareness and education today in honor of National School Bus Safety Week, celebrated October 19 to 23, 2009.


Opinion:  Hazardous to your health?

As tens of thousands of Floridians are quite aware. And generally appreciative. We recall when private insurers, including some of the largest, after a flurry of major hurricanes, dropped our homeowners insurance because they considered us bad risks. Sound familiar? That’s what health-insurance companies do with people who have pre-existing conditions or who run up large medical bills.


Governor Crist appoints six to the Florida Building Code Administrators and Inspectors Board

Governor Charlie Crist today announced the following reappointments and appointments:


In Flu Pandemic, Florida’s Hospitals May Exclude Certain Patients

Florida health officials are drawing up guidelines that recommend barring patients with incurable cancer, end-stage multiple sclerosis and other conditions from being admitted to hospitals if the state is overwhelmed by flu cases.


Editorial:  Medicaid, a still unresolved Fla. budget buster

Not to sound like a broken record, but the state of Florida is facing another big budget deficit – $2.7 billion at last count. Medicaid is a big budget-buster, and unfortunately, it’s clear that state lawmakers aren’t sure how to address the increasing costs of a badly needed program.


Attorney General McCollum Targets Debt Relief Industry Abuses

Two lawsuits filed alleging excessive fees and conduct defrauding consumers and damaging credit

Attorney General Bill McCollum today announced his office has filed two lawsuits on behalf of Florida consumers against five debt settlement-related companies.  


Florida unemployment rate hits 11 percent in September

Investors may be cheered by the Dow this week, but people looking for jobs are still in the doldrums.

More than 1 million people are out of work now and the state lost 360,400 jobs over the year, according to September labor statistics released Friday.


Fla. GOP senators skeptical on offshore oil drilling

The aggressive push for oil drilling off Florida’s shores is backed by a coalition of powerful, well-financed business interests who are determined to succeed where they failed before: the state Senate.


Fla. PSC has dark history of failure in scandals

This time, at least, no canaries died.

Four birds, necks broken, had been dumped at the doorway of a lawyer entangled in the scandal so outrageous it was supposed to put an end to abuses by Florida’s utilities and their minions on the Public Service Commission.


Sink wins crossover support from GOP early in Fla. governor’s race

Democrat Alex Sink has handily out-raised Republican rival Bill McCollum in the early stages of what could be the priciest race ever for Florida governor next year.


Senator Gaetz’s son cash unmatched in Fla. state rep race

Matt Gaetz hasn’t just jumped out to a big fundraising lead in the race for the District 4 state representative’s seat; he’s lapped the field a couple of times.


Wexler’s departure scrambles other races

Gov. Charlie Crist’s long-forgotten vice presidential hopes and Democratic U.S. Rep. Robert Wexler’s sudden resignation have set up a new, time-delayed chain of political dominoes in South Florida.


Fla. Rep. Boyd camp ‘comfortable’ with cash galore

A vocal group of critics apparently has not hindered U.S. Rep. Allen Boyd’s ability to raise copious amounts of campaign cash.


Three Florida trial lawyers suspended over race-baiting Thrasher election flier

The state’s trial-lawyer lobby suspended three top officials Friday for their involvement with a race-baiting flier mailed out in a heated Jacksonville-based state Senate race.


North America’s Largest Photovoltaic Solar Plant Set to Open in Arcadia

The road to North America’s largest photovoltaic solar plant passes cows and orange trees before turning to gravel amid a field of 90,000 black panels.


Fla. biotech report urges funding, law changes

A state panel is urging more government spending on biotechnology and changes in tax and environmental laws to make Florida more competitive in that industry.


CFO Sink talks about solutions for Fla. homeowners at housing help roundtable

Florida CFO Alex Sink today highlighted two initiatives she started to bring real, tangible help to Florida homeowners facing foreclosure, and heard from community groups and homeowners who are on the frontlines of tackling the state’s housing crisis.


State gambling agreement with Seminole tribe may still be far away

So much for the rush to ink a Seminole compact.

Two months after negotiators raced to meet a deadline for the $3 billion gambling deal between the state and tribe, progress has slowed to a crawl.


Richest of the rich still view Florida as haven

Have you popped the bubbly to welcome some of the newest Floridians to our shores?


Texas windstorm rate increase denied

Citing hardships already endured by coastal residents because of Hurricane Ike, Texas Insurance Commissioner Mike Geeslin denied a request by a state-backed insurer to raise windstorm policy rates along the coast by 10 percent.


California Gets Pay-As-You-Drive

Californians will soon be able to purchase pay-as-you-drive automobile insurance, as the final regulations have been approved.


Missouri Town Left Off Flood Maps; Portions of Others Missing, Too

Officials from central Missouri towns say preliminary flood insurance maps presented by the Federal Emergency Management Agency this week were incomplete and based on old information.


Alabama Supreme Court Throws Out $274M in Verdicts Against Drug Makers

The Alabama Supreme Court last Friday threw out jury decisions awarding the state more than $274 million from three pharmaceutical companies, ruling they did not defraud the state in pricing Medicaid prescription drugs.


RMS Foresees $19B Loss From Large Calif. Quake 

A 7.2 magnitude earthquake along the Peninsula segment of the San Andreas Fault in the San Francisco area could cause a $19 billion insured loss, a modeling firm estimates.


U.S. to Press China on Drywall

The new chairman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission said she would ask China to help pay for the billions of dollars in damage to U.S. homes blamed on Chinese-made drywall.


Vehicle theft rate hits low as technology improves

Reported vehicle theft has fallen to a 20-year low even as the number of vehicles on the road has doubled, as manufacturers install sophisticated anti-theft technology in cars and police target organized car-theft rings.


How Moody’s sold ratings and sold out investors

A McClatchy Newspapers investigation has found that Moody’s punished executives who questioned why the company was risking its reputation by putting its profits ahead of providing trustworthy ratings for investment offerings.


Department of Homeland Security Proposes Standards For Biz Disaster Preparedness Programs  

The Department of Homeland Security on Thursday published proposed regulations designed to standardize preparedness programs for disasters and emergencies.


Britain’s Brown urges global cooperation to avoid climate change ‘catastrophe’

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said Monday that failure to strike a new global deal on reducing greenhouse emissions would be catastrophic, and urged other national leaders to personally attend a climate summit in Denmark later this year.


Insurance studies have detractors

Texas insurers repeatedly cite a University of Texas School of Business study that found a strong correlation between credit history and insurance risk.


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