Capitol to Courthouse Headliners: Thursday, January 22

Jan 22, 2009


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CENTRAL FLORIDA POLITICAL PULSE BLOG:  Atwater wants to un-freeze Citizens Insurance rates

Senate President Jeff Atwater said today legislators will let the rate freeze for homeowners with policies under state-run Citizens Property Insurance expire – meaning homeowners will see higher bills starting in 2010.


BROWARD POLITICS BLOG:  Atwater–Citizens insurance rates will rise in 2010

Senate President Jeff Atwater, R-North Palm Beach, said today legislators will let the rate freeze for homeowners with policies under state-run Citizens Property Insurance expire – meaning homeowners will see higher bills starting in 2010.


Rate hike being recommended for Florida insurer

A task force is recommending that Citizens Property Insurance be allowed to end a three-year rate freeze and start aggressively hiking homeowner rates.


SEC Charges Missing Trader for Defrauding Investors at Sarasota-Based Hedge Funds

The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged Arthur Nadel of Sarasota, Fla., with fraud in connection with six hedge funds for which he acted as the principal investment advisor. According to the SEC’s complaint, Nadel provided false and misleading information for dissemination to investors about the funds’ historical returns and falsely overstated the value of investments in the funds by approximately $300 million.


‘Ronshay’ act targets drowsy driving

A new state bill has been proposed with the hopes of bringing more awareness about the dangers of driving while fatigued.


Health insurers bounce around possible health-care proposals

A day after Barack Obamas inauguration, representatives of Floridas biggest health insurers sounded a wary note on the new presidents health-care proposals.


Cover FL dilemma:  No United agents in much of state

United Healthcare’s toll-free operators tell callers that its Cover Florida plans are sold exclusively through brokers. They send out a list with 23 names.


Brown & Brown, Inc. Elects Sam R. Boone, Jr. and Colin E. Lowe as New Regional Executive Vice Presidents

Brown & Brown, Inc. (NYSE: BRO) announces that the Board of Directors today elected Sam R. Boone, Jr. and Colin E. Lowe as Regional Executive Vice Presidents.


Brightway Insurance Doubles Annual sales from Prior Year

Brightway Insurance recently announced their record double of sales for 2008 from the prior year in 2007. New customer sales went from roughly $10 million to just under $20 million. Brightway Insurance currently holds 39 offices throughout the state of Florida.


Crist readying for possible Fla. deficit vetoes

Gov. Charlie Crist says he has his veto pen ready for a budget deficit-elimination package but wont use it until next week.


Ausley to run for state Senate seat

Former Rep. Loranne Ausley has had enough of retirement.

The Democrat from Tallahassee has filed to run for state Senate District 6, the seat Senate Democratic Leader Al Lawson, also of Tallahassee, has to vacate next year because of term limits. Term limits forced Ausley to surrender her House seat last year.


Pasco County School Board member Kathryn Starkey may run for state House

Kathryn Starkey has spent the past few days telling people she’s not long for the Pasco County School Board.


Florida House Democratic Leader Sands criticizes budget process

House Democratic Leader Franklin Sands of Weston today decried the erosion of press coverage in the state Capitol and accused Republicans of locking his party out of the budget process.


Senate Select Committee on Florida’s Economy brain-storms solutions to the state’s economic crisis

Dozens of local citizens lined up to offer advice to state senators today as they met to address Florida’s economic crisis.


Loophole Fixes Could Reduce Budget Woes

Although the Florida Legislature slashed budgets for schools, children’s health care and living assistance for the elderly in its recent special session, it ignored a couple of easy fixes – loopholes in corporate tax law – that could have produced revenue to avoid some of the worst cuts.


Budget makes Seminole booty look tempting

Somewhere in a netherworld between legal and illegal, they’re playing blackjack.

The Seminoles are dealing, and throngs of players are clamoring to play card games approved by the National Indian Gaming Commission, declared illegal by the Florida attorney general, introduced through a compact negotiated by the governor and tossed by the Florida Supreme Court.


Port officials to study gambling on the dock

The Canaveral Port Authority decided Wednesday to create a commission to study dockside gambling after hearing its lucrative casino ship tenants have seen precipitous declines in passengers and profits during the past two years.


U.S. Senate candidates in Florida face a hard sell in 2010

Florida voters will require a lot of courting from the field of politicians considering a 2010 U.S. Senate run.


Potential Candidates For Senate Unfamiliar

If the race for retiring U.S. Sen. Mel Martinez’s seat were held today, Florida voters would be choosing from among a group of potential candidates unknown to most.


Florida minimum wage increase stirs debate

The minimum wage in Florida rose 42 cents to $7.21 per hour this month, igniting a debate over whether the increased pay will help workers or whether it will hurt the economy because small businesses simply can’t afford to pay it.


Plans To Push New Treasury Boss To Create Information Office

Two members of the House Financial Services Committee will ask the Obama administration’s new Treasury secretary to unilaterally create an Office of Insurance Information within that agency, it was learned.


Put Banks’ Skin In Flood Program Game, Study Suggests

One way to reduce the government subsidy for flood insurance would be to pass legislation requiring that bank mortgages on homes hit by a deluge be considered paid in full, according to proposals by two academics.


PCS May Add New Component To Catastrophe Loss Figures

An executive with Property Claim Services said the company is considering a revision to include an offshore element in its calculation of U.S. catastrophe losses.


State Audit Raises Questions About Louisiana Road Home Data

Errors in the loading of tax data resulted in a need to re-examine the eligibility of more than 12,500 Road Home applicants, according to a state legislative auditor’s report that also raised other questions about the reliability of data – including information provided by insurance companies – used for the program to help hurricane-affected homeowners.


North Carolina Considers Capping Insurers’ Liability for Beach Plan Costs

A legislative committee looking at how to cover insurance claims after a big hurricane in North Carolina may recommend a cap on how much private insurers would be forced to pay.


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