Capitol to Courthouse Headliners: Thursday, December 4

Dec 4, 2008


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Citizen’s Risky Business:  Florida’s ‘Cat’ Fund Toying with Ninth Life

Many Floridians receive their annual/bi-annual residential property insurance statement, noticing the additional assessments at the bottom labeled CPIC, FHCF, and sometimes FIGA -five dollars here, three dollars there, altogether not that much money. However, do Florida homeowners actually know what those assessments are and for how long they’ll have to pay them?


Dire need:  Countering hurricanes’ deadly fury

Hurricane experts and others meeting this week near Orlando delivered more dire warnings Wednesday about the urgent, short-term need to harden existing homes and build stronger structures, while planning for the long-term loss of coastal buffer zones that will make Florida and other states even more vulnerable to big storms.


EDITORIAL:  Growing Burden

On Sunday, the 2008 Atlantic hurricane season came to a soggy end. Although this year’s season was one of the deadliest on record, most of the death and destruction was visited on islands in the Caribbean. That doesn’t make that toll any less horrible. As a practical matter, however, the fact that no major hurricane hit Florida for a second straight year was a good thing for Florida Gov. Charlie Crist and the Legislature.


Florida slides down U.S. health rankings

A new report card on the nation’s health ranks Florida 45th worst among the 50 states, driven down by high rates of uninsured people, infectious diseases and violent crime.


Florida’s Small-Group Health Insurance Grew in First Half of 2008, Though Economic Downturn Likely to Halt Upward Trend

HealthLeaders-InterStudy, a leading provider of managed care market intelligence, reports that the small-group health insurance market grew 5 percent in Florida through the second quarter of 2008.


Charles Canady sworn in to Florida Supreme Court

Charles Canady was formally sworn in as Florida’s 82nd justice on the state Supreme Court Wednesday in an investiture ceremony in the court chambers.


Florida Senate president picks committees

Senate President Jeff Atwater, R-North Palm Beach, Wednesday announced his chamber’s committee structure and named members to lead them.


Alexander to Fill Top Budget Post in Fla. Senate

Sen. J.D. Alexander will take on a historic challenge as the Senate’s top budget chairman, moving into one of Florida’s most powerful legislative positions.


Jeb Bush bid for Senate could clear GOP field

Still popular in Florida, former Gov. Jeb Bush said Wednesday that he’s interested in the seat Sen. Mel Martinez is giving up, and the field of possible candidates could quickly narrow to make way for the president’s younger brother.


COMMENTARY:  Sen. Bush?  King Jeb’s cerebral cortex might explode

Jeb Bush says he is considering running for the U.S. Senate.


Contract suit filed against state senator

A local property owner is suing state Sen. Mike Bennett and his business partner, claiming they reneged on a real estate purchase.


Florida Attorney General:  Homeowners should be wary of mortgage rescuers

Like many people across the nation, Nancy and George Krueger could no longer afford their home with a $263,208 mortgage so they put a for sale sign in their front yard.


Florida Woman’s Lawsuit Against Tobacco Company Goes to Trial

Opening statements are scheduled to begin this week in a trial against a tobacco company by the wife of a Florida smoker who died of lung cancer.


With new toll lanes, an army of support

Troopers, cameras, Road Rangers and specialty vehicles are being deployed to try to keep traffic flowing more freely as South Florida braces for the first phase of fluctuating tolls on Interstate 95.

When the high-profile experiment with variably priced tolls on Interstate 95 officially kicks off at 6 a.m. Friday, South Florida commuters will encounter a whole new set of safety challenges on what already was a dangerous stretch of roadway.


Central Florida businesses go bust at breakneck pace

Central Florida businesses are failing at a pace not seen in at least a decade, with scores of companies pulled under by a worsening global recession.


Crist Fields Questions About Wedding, Obama, Politics

Gov. Charlie Crist fielded questions from reporters today about his upcoming wedding, his recent meeting with President-elect Barack Obama, and more.


Report:  State may top Crist’s renewable energy goal

A report delivered to state regulators says Florida can exceed Gov. Charlie Crist’s goal for using renewable energy but only if everything goes right.


GOP snubs elected son of ex-KKK wizard

The son of a former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard is vowing a legal challenge after the Palm Beach County Republican Party refused Wednesday night to recognize his election to a local party post.


State Keeps Hiring

Across Florida over the past year, painful cuts in government services have become increasingly common. Some disabled adults have lost access to transportation. Foster kids wait longer for adoption services. Fewer troopers patrol the highways. Music and art instruction have been axed in some public schools. University presidents complain of a “brain drain” of many talented professors.


Nine Florida biotech firms are among 40 firms seeking money at the Southeastern BIO Investor Forum

About 400 people are expected today and Friday at a biotechnology investor conference at The Breakers, where 40 companies from the Southeast hope to attract capital.


Graham:  Threat of biological, nuclear terror strike is high

The chances are better than 50-50 that terrorists will deploy nuclear or biological weapons somewhere in the world in the next five years, according to a bipartisan commission’s report released Wednesday.


Strapped GOP Governors Face Tough Call on Taxes

Widening state budget deficits are causing big headaches for the governors who met with President-elect Barack Obama this week, especially those Republicans who hope to emerge as the new leaders of their party.


Premium Rating Errors Cost Auto Insurers $16 Billion, Report Claims

Premium rating errors by insurance companies resulted in the loss of $16.1 billion of auto insurance premium revenues in 2007, slightly down from the 2006 figure of $16.6 billion – but still almost 10 percent of the total $162 billion in personal auto premium written.


Producers — It’s Now or Never to Fight SEC’s 151A, NAFA Says

The National Association for Fixed Annuities (NAFA) is launching a campaign for insurance professionals to pressure their elected national representatives against the Securities and Exchange Commission’s proposal to regulate indexed annuities.


Bright Spots and Challenges Go Hand in Hand in Louisiana

Despite the challenges faced by the state of Louisiana since Hurricanes Katrina and Rita wrought their havoc in 2005, there are bright spots in the state’s property casualty insurance industry, says Louisiana Commissioner of Insurance Jim Donelon. The workers’ compensation market is one of the healthiest in the nation and the property market is gaining ground with new insurers coming in and policies flowing out of Louisiana Citizens Property Insurance Corporation, the state’s property insurer of last resort. It’s not all rosy, the property market in South Louisiana is still tough, but recovery is always on the agenda.



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