Capitol to Courthouse Headliners: Thursday, August 5

Aug 5, 2010


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News Release:  Florida Insurance Commissioner Issues Cease and Desist Order for Unauthorized Sale of Warranty Products

Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty today announced the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation has issued an Order to Auto Repair Warranty Inc., Auto Repair Group LLC and Michael R. Petruziello to Cease and Desist selling unauthorized motor vehicle service agreements in Florida. 


Keys Woman appeals code case

Flood-related case is 3 years old

A battle over the legality of a Big Pine Key home’s downstairs enclosure wages on, as the owner is asking a state appeals court to rethink its recent ruling against her.


New maps show thousands of Hernando County parcels as flood risks

Hernando County property owners take heed: More than 24,000 parcels of land are about to be designated as flood risks for the first time.


Letter to the Editor:  Insurance adjusters — Don’t panic after a hurricane

The prime months for hurricane activity in Florida tend to be August and September.


State Farm Florida’s President’s Message To Customers on A.M. Best Downgrade 

On August 3, A.M. Best Company downgraded the financial strength rating of State Farm Florida Insurance Company from B (Fair) with a negative outlook to B- (Fair) with a negative outlook.  Clearly this action shines a spotlight on the challenges facing the Florida property insurance market. 


Tobacco companies ordered to pay $2.2 million to Royal Palm Beach widow of smoker

A jury today ordered Big Tobacco to pay a Royal Palm Beach widow $2.2 million for enticing her husband to smoke, causing him to die of lung cancer at age 55.


Sandra Ruiz disqualified from Florida House race

Doral Councilwoman Sandra Ruiz has been disqualified from running for Florida House District 112, after a judge sided with two of her opponents who sued because Ruiz did not follow the resign-to-run state law.


State, McCollum abandon legal defense of taxpayer matching money for candidates

Florida will not appeal a court ruling that struck a key provision of the state’s campaign finance law.


Florida developer sues Halliburton over Gulf spill

Florida real estate developer St. Joe Co. is suing Halliburton Co. over its role in the rig explosion that led to the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.


State Rep. Brisé’s departure creates opening for newcomers

A lawmaker’s appointment to a state commission has created an unexpected race for his seat between two Democratic newcomers

When Gov. Charlie Crist appointed state Rep. Ronald Brisé to the state Public Service Commission, he left Brisé’s district unexpectedly without an incumbent.


Another oil special session on horizon?

Local lawmakers say there’s still a chance that they will call a second special legislative session in September to address Gulf oil spill issues.


Florida Department of Environmental Protection chief contends dispersants helped Florida

The use of chemical dispersants against the oil spill was a benefit to Florida with no drawbacks, Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Michael Sole told a House work group on Wednesday.


Downsizing planned for Crist’s Everglades land deal with U.S. Sugar

Water Management District once again considering scaling down governor’s proposed restoration land deal

Gov. Charlie Crist’s stalled Everglades land deal with U.S. Sugar Corp. would be watered down again under a proposal released Wednesday to buy less sugar cane land for environmental restoration.


Florida to invest stimulus cash in clean-tech companies

Fueled by federal stimulus money, Florida is looking to pour millions of dollars into businesses that “go green” in a major way – but there are some strings attached to it.


Gov. Crist Fills Four of Five Citrus Commission Seats

Gov. Charlie Crist on Wednesday filled four of five open seats on the Florida Citrus Commission.


Three South Floridians indicted in $12M bank fraud

Three South Floridians have been indicted in Miami on charges of bank fraud in connection with a $12 million scheme against Wells Fargo.


Politics undermines public health, limiting Florida food service inspections

Most remaining Health Department food service inspections ceased. Not transferred – but ended, under HB 5311, which was passed in the last legislative session and signed by Gov. Charlie Crist.


GOP foe sues U.S. Rep. Grayson over DVD

Democratic Rep. Alan Grayson’s decision to mail thousands of DVDs – which essentially serve as a legislative highlight reel of his first term – to his Orlando-area constituents sparked a backlash late last week when those constituents realized that $73,000 of their tax dollars paid for it.


Florida Senate hopeful Greene explains Cuba trip

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Jeff Greene said he misspoke when he claimed he visited Cuba on a mission trip with a visa from the Jewish Federation in 2007.


Florida Attorney General Candidate Profiles


Miami-Fort Lauderdale 8th on list of largest metro areas

Nine U.S. metropolitan areas have populations above 5 million, according to new estimates generated on Wednesday by Business First, a sister publication of the South Florida Business Journal.


Feds slam Kaplan University’s Florida campus

A federal investigation criticized the recruitment tactics at Kaplan University’s Pembroke Pines campus, along with other for-profit universities.


Rhode Island:  Solvent insurer’s commutation plan gets initial go-ahead from R.I. court; U.K.-style approach may be used to run off telecoms captive

Tapping a Rhode Island statute, an attempt by a solvent reinsurer to execute a U.K.-style commutation process in the United States has passed its first legal hurdle.


News Release:  NCOIL President Demands Life Insurers Provide Transparency for Retained-Asset Accounts

The President of the National Conference of Insurance Legislators today expressed his strong concern relating to the adequacy of consumer protections and disclosures currently in place for retained-asset accounts for life insurance death benefits.


Oklahoma Files to Liquidate Pegasus Insurance Co.

Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner has filed an application to liquidate workers’ compensation insurance provider, Pegasus Insurance Co. Inc. The company was placed into rehabilitation in June.


30% workers’ compensation rate increase proposed for California

Actuaries for the San Francisco-based Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau of California have recommended a roughly 30% rate increase for policies incepting Jan. 1.


Texas Commissioner Orders $551K in Fines and Restitution in June

Enforcement actions taken by Texas Insurance Commissioner Mike Geeslin that became final during June 2010 included four license revocations, three license denials, and fines and restitution totaling $551,012. Copies of Geeslin’s orders may be obtained by contacting TDI’s Public Information Office.


Study Changes Picture of U.S. Quake Hazards

The risk of earthquakes in the U.S. Midwest may be more widespread than geologists have believed, but a “big one” may be less likely at Missouri’s New Madrid fault, researchers said Aug. 4.



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