Capitol to Courthouse Headliners: Thursday, April 23
Apr 23, 2009
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Worried about financial risks and an exodus of major insurers, Florida lawmakers started moving forward Wednesday with plans that could lead to higher property-insurance rates.
Bill allows unregulated home policies
The state House of Representatives passed a property insurance measure Wednesday that would allow large insurers to sell essentially unregulated home and condominium insurance policies at whatever price they want.
A bill to be introduced in the U.S. Senate seeks a Federal Reserve guarantee for hurricane catastrophe funds in Florida and elsewhere.
Legislation that would allow the Federal Reserve to guarantee bonds issued by hurricane catastrophe funds in Florida, Texas and Louisiana and the earthquake insurance pool in California will be introduced in the U.S. Senate on Thursday, Sen. Bill Nelson’s office said Wednesday.
A coalition of insurers and other groups announced a seven point plan they said could cut hurricane losses dramatically, if public officials and the private sector see to its adoption.
A school voucher program financed through corporate tax credits would be strengthened under a bill that’s cleared the House. The measure also would give insurance companies premium similar tax credits if they contribute to the program that sends low-income students to private schools.
Soon the legislative session will be over. In addition to the budget and a myriad of other issues, the largest problem to be solved is the looming financial hammer that will fall on all of us if there is one or more significant hurricanes that hit Florida this hurricane season, which begins in June.
Craig Fugate, who led Florida’s disaster response during back-to-back hurricanes, told senators at his confirmation hearing Wednesday for the top post at the Federal Emergency Management Agency that he’ll hold the troubled agency to a “much higher standard of success” than its Hurricane Katrina performance.
Ashley Morrison of the Magdalena Gardens condominium complex doesn’t know if the Chinese drywall used in her complex is causing illnesses for herself or her 1-year-old daughter.
C&E Information Services announced that it had recently surpassed 1 million insrance inspections in the state of Florida.
ZCL Composites Inc., an underground fiberglass tank manufacturer, has partnered with Freberg Environmental Insurance of Denver to offer Prezerver, a non-cancellable, 10-year underground storage tank insurance policy for ZCL’s U.S. customers.
A good compromise remains possible for one of this year’s most important and contentious issues: fees for attorneys who win benefits wrongly denied to injured workers.
The Florida House has passed a bill aimed at cutting health insurance costs at state universities.
A plan to restructure the panel that recommends how the state doles out Medicaid money is headed to the Senate floor after clearing the House Wednesday.
The Florida House on Wednesday overwhelmingly voted to restructure the panel that recommends how to distribute roughly $2 billion a year in Medicaid money — nearly 30 percent of which comes from Miami-Dade and Broward taxpayers.
A Congressional staff report raps Florida and seven other states for misuse of Medicaid stimulus funds that were supposed to create health-care jobs and help newly uninsured people get coverage. The report raises a question of whether Florida could be held accountable for paying back diverted money.
The head of a Tallahassee-based pharmacy admitted Thursday that it incorrectly mixed a medication that was given to 21 horses that mysteriously collapsed and died before a polo match over the weekend.
Visibility is close to zero in some parts of Florida’s main east-west artery.
Truckers and other drivers are cooling their heels today on U.S. 27, losing money and patience as they wait for Alligator Alley to reopen after a 1,000-acre brush fire closed it last night.
Momentum Builds in Florida Legislature to Rename Proposed Legislation After Miami Heat Fan Favorite and NBA All-Star Alonzo Mourning
With a week left to resolve budget issues, Republican legislative leaders were still searching for a starting point Wednesday after an unusually long five days of behind-the-scenes discussions that had minority Democrats fuming.
The fallout from a budget standoff between the House and Senate could hit taxpayers even harder this year as lawmakers braced Tuesday for overtime at $40,000 a day.
As lawmakers struggle with questions of tax increases, the state’s mammoth budget and whether the legislative session will end on time, one person has emerged as a political power in the Capitol: Winter Park Republican Dean Cannon.
The Seminole Tribe offered $1.1 billion to entice lawmakers to support itsr gambling plan.
As legislative budget negotiations reached a stalemate Wednesday, Gov. Charlie Crist and the Seminole Tribe offered the state a financial lifeline: $1.1 billion in cash over two years in return for giving the tribe a gambling monopoly.
Gov. Charlie Crist’s opposition to offshore oil drilling is getting weaker and weaker.
Jack Latvala, former majority leader of the Florida Senate, wants a seat in his old haunt again; Latvala, a Republican, became the first announced candidate Wednesday to replace state Sen. Charlie Justice, D-St. Petersburg, who is running for Congress, creating a potential scrum for his District 16 seat representing Pinellas and Hillsborough counties.
American insurers want government aid. But their lobbyists say that solvency isn’t their problem, unlike the banks.
The European Parliament voted this week for new regulation of insurers that aims to cut costs by giving one national regulator the lead role in monitoring insurance companies operating across several EU nations.
Homeowners in 18 coastal North Carolina counties whose homes are insured by a state-backed insurance pool shouldn’t expect a delay of higher rates taking effect May 1.
A coalition of insurers, public officials, risk experts, builders and conservation groups introduced a blueprint of policy changes and common sense actions that could reduce economic losses from future storms and rising sea levels by as much as half along U.S. coastlines.
After years of inertia, the $16 trillion industry has begun to address climate change with mandatory risk disclosures and more products to help businesses and individuals reduce energy use.
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