Capitol to Courthouse Headliners: Thursday, January 14

Jan 14, 2010



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Florida “safe” from earthquakes

“Florida is one of the most stable places on the planet,” said Florida International University professor Grenville Draper, who has studied and mapped the fault that caused the quake. “We have plenty of other things to worry about. Earthquakes are not among them.”


22 sinkholes open after fields sprayed

Despite farmers’ best efforts to protect their crops, about 30 percent of Florida’s agricultural bounty was damaged by this month’s freezing temperatures, state officials say.


New Lawsuit Targets State Licensing of Traffic Cameras

A third lawsuit challenging Lakeland’s red-light camera program was filed Wednesday and claims the company operating the cameras don’t have proper state licensing.


Florida CFO Sink names John Askins as new Division of Insurance Fraud Director

Florida CFO Alex Sink today announced the appointment of John Askins as the new Director of the Division of Insurance Fraud, the accredited law enforcement Division of the Department of Financial Services responsible for investigating insurance fraud.


Workers’ comp fraud targeted in Miami-Dade

A workers’ compensation insurance company spent more than $28,000 on Helmuth Droege after the Miami computer salesman claimed he broke his arm during a fall at work last year.


State cuts Florida Power & Light Co. rate-hike proposal

Pointing to the economic struggles of many customers, state regulators Wednesday slashed a Florida Power & Light proposal to raise base electric rates by $1.2 billion.


Rowden takes on Florida House District 44 incumbent Schenck

Framed by red, white and blue balloons and flanked by the county’s Democratic leadership, Diane Rowden on Wednesday announced she is seeking the District 44 state House seat now held by Robert Schenck.


Florida state budget deficit measured in billions

State lawmakers are facing a budget deficit of nearly $3 billion as they try to craft next year’s spending plan.


Florida No. 2 in foreclosures in 2009, study shows

More than half a million Florida homes received some type of foreclosure notice in 2009, a sad but not shocking measure during a year that broke records nationally for bank-seized properties.


Florida officials fear EPA pollution rule

Whether Florida or the U.S. government sets the limit for nutrient pollution seeping into lakes, streams and rivers, everyone will be required to change the way certain activities are conducted to bring their pollution within the limit, according to Jerry Brooks, a Florida Department of Environmental Protection program director.


Blog:  Seminoles fight ahead of key vote

The Seminole tribe is making a new argument to keep its legally questionable blackjack games up and running: Since pari-mutuel facilities now have virtual blackjack, the tribe is entitled to keep their table-and-dealer live version.


Offshore drilling would hurt Eglin mission

In an unusually candid acknowledgement, the commander of Eglin Air Force Base told lawmakers Wednesday that oil and gas drilling in Florida waters could pose a threat to military operations.


Blog:  Florida food fight — Asphalt v. Concrete

The new year begins in old fashion in the Capitol: special-interest food fights, this time between the concrete and asphalt guys at the Senate Transportation and Economic Development Appropriations Committee.


Blog:  Can Florida regulate those pesky phone-banks and campaign mailers?

Florida lawmakers plan to push this year to re-enact some rules on the stealthy, so-called 527 political groups that right now are free to launch ad attacks on candidates without telling voters who is paying for them.


Cubs may decide by early next week whether to relocate spring home to Collier

The wait is almost over.


Florida blood-bank chief: ‘I get it’ about reforms

The head of Central Florida’s largest blood bank told Florida senators Wednesday that she has completely overhauled the operation — from the boardroom to the bloodmobile.


Editorial:  Putting the sun to work puts Floridians to work, too

On Friday, state Sen. Mike Haridopolos and state Rep. Dean Cannon will hold the 2010 Florida Jobs Summit at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort in Orlando. This jobs summit will bring together a diverse group of people representing business, government, education and labor to create a strategic agenda to restore Florida’s economy.


New York State Sued Over Use of Insurer Assessments

A trade association is suing New York’s Insurance Department, claiming its assessment on insurers has been misappropriated over the past decade to help fund other state agencies.


Texas Windstorm insurer picks up pace on Ike settlements

The Texas Windstorm Insurance Association, under fire by state regulators and policyholder attorneys for how it handled claims after Hurricane Ike, is accelerating the pace of settlements.


Louisiana AG Sues Chinese Drywall Manufacturers and Distributors

Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell filed suit in Orleans Parish against multiple Knauf entities, other international and domestic manufacturers, distributors, importers of alleged toxic Chinese drywall.


Caribbean insurance pool to pay only $8 million for Haiti quake claim

A multinational catastrophe insurance pool will pay $8 million to the government of Haiti after a massive earthquake struck the island Tuesday, causing widespread damage and reportedly killing tens of thousands of people.


US insurers have limited exposure in Haiti

U.S. insurers may have very little exposure to the massive losses caused by the earthquake that struck Haiti. Haiti is one of the smallest insurance markets in the Americas, with a total non-life insurance premium income of just under $20 million, ‘which reflect the country’s poverty,’ according to a report Wednesday from Newark, Calif.-based Risk Management Solutions Inc.


RMS Commentary On Haiti Earthquake

The moment magnitude 7.0 earthquake that struck Haiti shortly before 17.00hrs local time yesterday occurred approximately 10 miles (15 km) south of the capital city of Port-au-Prince.


PCI Launches Campaign to Preserve McCarran-Ferguson and Protect Med Mal Insurance Marketplace

This week, PCI launched a multimedia campaign urging Congress to preserve the McCarran-Ferguson Act and protect the medical malpractice insurance marketplace.  



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