Capitol to Courthouse Headliners: Thursday, April 16

Apr 16, 2009

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THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA: Senate Committee Overhauls Workers’ Comp Attorneys’ Fees Bill

A bill sought by big business to restore a court-stricken cap on lawyers fees in workers compensation cases turned 180 degrees Wednesday in a Senate committee with the approval of an amendment pushed by trial lawyers.


Senate panel OKs red-light strategy

After a passionate plea from a Manatee widow, a state Senate committee Wednesday OK’d a proposal to authorize the use of high-tech cameras to catch drivers who run red lights.


Sen. Garrett Richter:  Returning insurance pricing to the marketplace is best for Florida

The Senate Committee on Banking and Insurance has passed Senate Bill (SB) 1950 which allows for Citizens Property Insurance to increase its individual property rates up to 10 percent based upon the level of risk assessed for a homeowner’s area.


Shield Our State Group Releases Economic Impact Study

Group Advocates for Bold New Solutions to Protect Florida Families Against ‘Hidden Hurricane’

The Shield Our State Coalition today released an economic impact study which shows that the State of Florida and its citizens could save as much as $119 billion over a period of years by forging a new public-private partnership with property insurers to address future residential insurance losses due to hurricanes.


Improved Credit Markets Aid Shaky Florida Hurricane Insurance Fund

Gov. Charlie Crist and the Florida Cabinet received a bit of encouraging news this week about the state’s tenuous hurricane catastrophe fund.


Column:  Is Florida ready for a real free market in homeowners insurance?

Got a deal for you:  Let’s say there was a new kind of insurance you could buy for your house in Florida.


CFO, Realtors Hold My Safe Florida Home, Workforce Housing Joint Event

Florida Chief Financial Officer Sink joined Florida Realtors and Sadowski Workforce Housing Coalition members during two separate events Wednesday to promote her efforts to protect Florida homeowners, underscoring her department’s My Safe Florida Home program and efforts to address Florida’s high rate of home foreclosures. 


Letter: Insurance companies wrongly deny workers’ comp benefits

This is in response to John Smith’s column commenting on the Florida Supreme Court’s decision on the workers’ compensation claim of Emma Murray, an injured nurse who was wrongfully denied benefits by her employer’s insurance carrier.


THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA: Senate Judiciary OK’s child waivers

The Senate Judiciary Committee passed a measure (SB 886) Wednesday that would allow parents to sign pre-event waivers.

University of Miami team to check ‘health’ of older bridges

The integrity of the nation’s older bridges is visually checked every two years by inspectors, while newer bridges have monitoring devices built in.


Federal stimulus money will help state close budget gap

$4 billion in federal stimulus money approved by panel  will be used during the current budget year.

A special legislative panel Wednesday approved $4 billion in federal stimulus money for spending during the current budget year and used some of those dollars to avert a deficit.


Budget clash is building in Tallahassee

With their budget plans $547 million apart, the House and Senate Thursday will debate and amend their spending plans for hours. They’ll vote the plans out Friday.


Florida legislators propose fees that would hit your wallet hard

The state’s budget crisis is about to hit Floridians where it really hurts: their wallets.


$25.7M OK’d to lure businesses to Florida

Lawmakers quickly approved $25.7 million Wednesday to lure new companies to Florida and to help existing ones expand, but the public won’t know for a while who gets the money or how many jobs are in the balance.

THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA: Senate gaming bills on floor Thursday

The Florida Senate is expected to take up its pari-mutuel gambling measures on Thursday as it moves toward an inevitable conference committee to hammer out details with competing and more conservative House legislation.


Overhaul of Florida Voting Rules Is Proposed

Republican lawmakers, who control both houses of the Legislature, have proposed sweeping changes to the state’s election laws, including new procedures on registering voters, and requiring voters to use a provisional ballot if they move shortly before an election.

Miami-Dade Mortgage Fraud Task Force Announces Series of Arrests in $4.5 Million Mortgage Fraud Operation

Attorney General Bill McCollum today joined members of Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Alvarez’s Mortgage Fraud Task Force in announcing the arrests of five individuals involved in a criminal mortgage fraud operation that defrauded several financial institutions collectively out of more than $4.5 million.


Gov. Charlie Crist says Florida housing market indicates upswing

An ever-optimistic Gov. Charlie Crist used a roundtable with real estate agents Wednesday to declare Florida’s economy on a slight upswing based on new home sales figures.

Drug monitoring measure advances in Florida Legislature

Florida lawmakers appear poised to pass a reform bill aiming to curb South Florida’s burgeoning pain-clinic industry — the prime supplier of black-market painkillers and illegal narcotics prescriptions for the eastern United States.


Gunman shoots Guyana insurance commissioner

A gunman shot a Guyana official in charge of dissolving a failed insurance company as she drove to work Thursday, police said.


North Carolina Insurance Chief Appeals Beach Plan Ratemaking Ruling

A North Carolina court ruling that questioned the insurance commissioner’s authority to approve insurance rate changes without public hearings is being challenged by Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin.


Consumer Advocates Wary of Federal Insurance Regulation Plans

Some of the nation’s insurance consumer advocates are wary of current proposals for federal regulation of insurance being passed around in Washington.

Marsh: Expect Double Digit Increases On ’09 Cat Risks 

Catastrophe risks can expect to see double digit insurance premium increases through the rest of this year as underwriting capacity dwindles and the hurricane season approaches, an executive from Marsh said.

    Class-action suit filed against Nationwide Insurance

    Attorneys on Wednesday filed a class-action lawsuit against Nationwide Insurance, claiming the company sold Washington consumers illegal health plans that left them without sufficient coverage.


    Allstate CEO:  Regulate Me, Please

    There are plenty of people singling out causes for the collapse of the financial markets, and conveniently, the source of the problem is usually someone else.


    Financial regulation may suffer from political risk

    U.S. Senator Christopher Dodd has hit a political lowpoint in his home state, at the same time as the Senate Banking Committee he chairs has become possibly the most high-profile panel in the U.S. Congress.


    Quake detection network to be updated

    The federal government will spend $29.4 million to upgrade the nation’s earthquake detection equipment, U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said Wednesday.


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